Rockford University Partners with Akademos to Launch New Online Bookstore

Industry: Education

Rockford University chooses online initiative to tackle rising textbook costs

Rockford, IL (PRUnderground) September 28th, 2021

Rockford University, a private liberal arts co-educational institution named as a “Best in the Midwest” college by The Princeton Review and a Best Midwest Regional University by U.S. News & World Report, today announced the launch of a new initiative designed to dramatically reduce the cost and increase the accessibility of course content for its 1,200 students. Through a partnership with Norwalk, Conn.-based digital course content platform Akademos, the university will now offer all required texts and course materials through an online bookstore, and faculty will benefit from the launch of integrated student engagement analytics tools.

“As a forward-thinking institution, we are excited to provide our students with this affordable and more efficient option to order and receive their course materials in support of their academic success,” said Dr. Michael Perry, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs at Rockford University. “Increasing the affordability of textbooks and course content represents an essential part of our strategy for reducing costs and developing the knowledge, values, and skills that will ensure success in this ever changing global society.”

Rising textbook prices continue to be a major driver for the overall cost of a college education. Nationally, textbook prices have continued to outstrip the cost of most other consumer goods, adjusted for inflation. According to research compiled by the College Board, the average student spends approximately $1,240. A survey of more than 22,000 college students also found that the cost of required textbooks had a negative impact on student success, such as earning a poor grade, failing a course, and not registering for a course. 

To reduce their overall out-of-pocket costs from purchasing textbooks, the university’s new school-branded online bookstore platform will offer students a competitive marketplace for course content purchasing. In partnership with Akademos, Rockford University will expand access to a wide range of low-cost course materials, including digital and hard copy versions of required texts. 

The store launched this summer to support fall term 2021. In parallel with the launch of the new online store, Rockford’s foodservice provider, Sodexo, will operate an on-campus store for merchandise and apparel. Rockford will work simultaneously to drive student awareness of its on-campus merchandise store, using Akademos’ suite of digital communications channels to cross-promote the campus store.

With the integration of Akademos’ course content platform, faculty and administrators at Rockford University will benefit from a suite of analytics and tools designed to better track student engagement with course-level content and use data to support student success. Through integration with the university’s student accounts, financial aid, and learning management systems, students will have increased convenience and accessibility in one technology platform.

“As a university invested in the total academic and co-curricular experience of its students, Rockford University understands the power of reduced out-of-pocket costs on their path to educational progress and success,” said Raj Kaji, CEO of Akademos. “This initiative to tackle rising textbook and course material costs will support the student experience on multiple fronts. Rockford University students will have the eCommerce experience they have come to expect, along with a student-centered on-campus store environment provided by Sodexo.”

About Rockford University

Rockford University is a private four-year, co-educational institution founded in 1847 offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in traditional liberal arts and professional fields. The University offers more than 80 majors, minors, and concentrations, including the bachelor’s degree completion program for a B.S. in Management Studies. Through its Graduate Studies department, degrees are extended to include the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), and Master of Education in Urban Education, (M.Ed.). Rockford University is home to one of only 11 Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) chapters in Illinois, the most prestigious honor society in the United States. Named by The Princeton Review as a Best Midwestern College and is a U.S. News & World Report Best Midwest Regional University, Rockford University currently serves approximately 1,200 full-and part-time students.

About Akademos

More than just an online bookstore, an Akademos technology-driven solution is a customizable bookstore experience every unique institution can benefit from. Whether the bookstore is a service for students or a revenue generator, the platform supports prioritizing readiness, textbook affordability, and retention with all models including Equitable Access, Inclusive Access, Student Choice, or a combination. All aspects of textbook and course material purchasing and delivery are taken care of so you can focus on what matters – student success. A true partnership – Akademos provides unmatched customer support along with access to tools and analytics needed to take each student’s college experience to the next level. Learn more at

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