MILWAUKEE _ A new partnership between University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and eCampus.com could save students up to 60 percent on their textbooks, helping to keep higher education affordable.
UWM announced its five-year contract with the online bookseller on Tuesday, joining Hampton University, National Louis University and other educational institutions already working with eCampus.com to provide savings and convenience to students.
“We are very excited about the new relationship between UWM and eCampus.com. This partnership will enhance student success by making textbooks and course materials more affordable for students,” said Michael Laliberte, UWM’s vice chancellor for Student Affairs. “Additionally, this new model will provide students with added incentives to reduce their costs of purchasing textbooks.”
Students will buy textbooks through the UWM Bookstore for the 2015 fall semester. They will return them to eCampus.com at the end of the semester. After that, they will buy them online at the UWM Virtual Bookstore powered by eCampus.com. Students will be able to order books online any time of the day and have them delivered directly to their residence with free, two-day shipping.
As part of its commitment to UWM, eCampus.com will share in the cost of renovating the bookstore as a vibrant Panther Spirit Shop housing the eCampus.com Store@UWM, which will have kiosks and staff to assist students in ordering their textbooks. Students will be able to order, rent, sell and return books at the eCampus.com Store@UWM.
The Panther Spirit Shop also will include a Tech Store and a new array of Panther spirit items.
Students could save up to 60 percent on their textbooks and materials. Based on an average semester’s textbook cost of $800 at UWM, the potential yearly savings is $480 a student. eCampus.com’s premier Internet pricing model adjusts textbook prices based on market pricing, ensuring students save as much money as possible.
“Virtual bookstores are the most efficient and cost-effective way to deliver books to students, allowing students to bypass waiting in long lines and high textbook prices,” said Matt Montgomery, president and CEO of eCampus.com.
The partnership also provides an exclusive rewards program for UWM students, faculty members, parents and alumni. eCampus.com has partnerships with more than 300 popular online retailers, giving UWM students credit toward their books for purchases they and their families make online. It is currently the only rewards program to offer students a way to earn extra savings on textbooks.
Purchases made by alumni and faculty members also earn credit, with that money going to help provide scholarships for current and future students. eCampus.com has committed to providing UWM students with tens of thousands of dollars in textbook scholarships over the next five years, along with supporting general scholarships, event sponsorships and campus promotions.
“This program offers savings to students that just wouldn’t be possible with a brick-and-mortar bookstore,” said Scott Peak, UWM’s executive director of Auxiliary Services. “Schools across the country are going to be moving to online book sales because it is so cost-effective. With the traditional model, bookstores spent large sums shipping books they didn’t always sell and that cost got passed on to customers. This new model is student-friendly and ensures the only books being shipped are those students want and need.”
Construction on the new Panther Spirit Shop and Virtual Bookstore is expected to begin in late September or early October, with a reopening in January. Bookstore operations will continue on the lower level of the current bookstore during construction on the main floor.
As Wisconsin’s only public urban research university, UWM has established an international reputation for excellence in research, community engagement, teaching and entrepreneurism. UWM educates more than 28,000 students on an operating budget of $705 million, including federal financial aid passed through to students. The Princeton Review named UWM a “2015 Best in the Midwest” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews. An engine for innovation in southeastern Wisconsin, UWM’s economic impact is more than $1.5 billion per year in Wisconsin alone.
eCampus.com is a premier etailer of new, used and electronic textbooks for sale or rent, study materials and book buyback services. The website launched on July 2, 1999, the birthday of an original investor of the company, Dave Thomas of Wendy’s, and pioneered selling used textbooks online. Unlike other dot-com companies at the time, eCampus.com’s executive team brought with them invaluable experience in their industry. The company has repeatedly found success in their ability to be agile and innovative, adapting to the ever-changing market. eCampus.com’s mission is to set online bookstore industry standards for savings, selection, convenience and customer service as expressed in its slogan “Textbooks Easy. Fast. Cheap!”
About the eCampus.com Virtual Bookstore Program
The eCampus.com Virtual Bookstore Program enables colleges, universities and K-12 schools to streamline their textbook fulfillment processes and turn them into profit centers while allowing students to obtain all of their course materials through an online virtual bookstore. Since 2002, the company has perfected their virtual bookstore model with proprietary software that is second to none in the online textbook industry. The eCampus.com Virtual Bookstore Program currently serves as the official bookstore for over 150 schools nationwide and that number continues to grow each year.