As a small, traditional, liberal arts college in the heart of Texas Hill Country, Schreiner University prides itself on serving a diverse population of students in a personalized manner. The faculty and administration know each student and are invested in their success at school, as well as in their lives. They are dedicated to shaping the educational experience to suit the students’ needs as well as giving them the tools necessary to accomplish their goals.
“We focus on a very hands-on, individualized education for our students,” Bill Muse vice president of administration and finance at Schreiner University said. “It’s impossible for a student to hide here. Not only do their professors know who they are, but the president knows as well. They get a lot of individual attention.”
This close relationship with their students enabled Schreiner University to quickly identify a major problem the students were having. Many of their students were opting to not buy the required materials for their courses because of the expense, leaving themselves unprepared for class. Since 2006, course materials costs have increased by 73%, leaving many of Schreiner’s students in a difficult situation. They could try to borrow textbooks from the library or friends, but ran the risk of not having access to any book during the semester.
“Students are, to an alarming degree, beginning to think of textbooks as optional,” Muse said. “It was having an impact on student learning. We wanted to provide a solution where all students had all of the required materials on the first day of class.”
They set out to find an answer that would guarantee every student had what they needed when the semester started. Adopting a business model where the course materials cost was built into the tuition, they found a textbook supplier who would supply each student with their books before the first day of class. It worked great, but three years later their supplier closed its doors, leaving them without textbooks for the next semester—which was quickly approaching.
“By the time we were able to do the due diligence and made the decision to go with MBS, it was the end of the fall semester going into Christmas. There was a very short window for the textbooks to be provided so we could deliver on our promise to the students. MBS really worked hard in a very short period of time to make that happen,” Muse said. “MBS understands how important affordability is for college students today and how textbook prices have a major impact on affordability issues for students. Basically, through MBS, and the personal attention of Bill Dampier, we now have a company that has the stability and resources to be able to sustain the business model that is best for our students.”