In a move designed to reduce the cost of course materials and ensure they are in the hands of students when they need them, Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, made the move from a traditional brick and mortar store to a 100% online store.Lincoln University is beginning their second term with an online bookstore, and Lincoln University CFO Sandra Koetting said the school was seeking to offer more purchasing options to students and lower the cost of course materials at the same time.
“It’s great to have more options,” Koetting said. “Whether it’s rental, new, used or the Marketplace, students need options they can use their financial aid with.”
More than 80% of the 3,000 students enrolled at Lincoln University receive some form of financial aid, and the online bookstore gives students the ability to use their financial aid vouchers when acquiring their course materials. Koetting said some students may purchase their materials from other sources, but they now have options they normally would not have been able to use their financial aid with.
The online bookstore enables students to have a streamlined purchasing experience on any device. Whether on a computer, tablet or smartphone, the result is a 100% virtual environment where students can quickly access the course materials they need and acquire them at substantial cost savings. Used textbooks save students up to 25% from purchasing the titles new and textbook rentals save students up to 60%. The Marketplace option connects students with private vendors where they can save up to 95%.
The cost of a college textbook has increased by 73% since 2006, and MBS Direct has solutions in place to save students money. During the 2015-16 school year, MBS Direct saved higher education students $23 million.
The process of moving Lincoln University from a brick-and-mortar store to an online store was quick.
“We made the decision in July for an August start,” Koetting said. “It was a high-speed transition and MBS was helpful in getting everything to us.”
With a limited timeframe to be operational, Koetting said the level of customer service they received through their implementation process has been superb.
“MBS Direct has a great response rate,” she said. “When we send an email with a question about the online bookstore or something a student needs, we get a quick response.”
Koetting said the partnership and the experience she has had with MBS Direct has been positive, especially with the transition happening in such a short timeframe.
“We appreciate the customer service. It’s important in any business,” Koetting said. “The students appreciate the savings and the options.”