City Colleges of Chicago Significantly Expands Affordable Textbook Options, Saving Students Up to $4 Million Annually

New 24/7 online bookstore will allow students to buy, rent and sell textbooks; 50,000 e-books will be offered at 30-60% discount from physical texts, while used book and rental discounts will average 50%

November 14, 2013—City Colleges of Chicago students will soon have significantly expanded access to a wide array of affordable textbook options, thanks to a new contract with Akademos approved by the institution’s Board of Trustees.

Due to improved discounts and greater access to used books, eBooks, and textbook rentals, City Colleges estimates that its students will collectively save up to $4 million annually compared to current textbook vendor arrangements. Akademos was deemed most responsive overall on issues of cost and student service.
“Textbook prices have exploded during the last thirty years, rising faster than tuition and healthcare rates,” Chancellor Cheryl Hyman said. “With this new contract, we will bring significant relief to students in the form of new and more affordable textbook options and ensure City Colleges continues to offer one of the best educational values in the region.”

Through the new contract with Akademos, for the first time, students will be able to order books through a 24/7 online bookstore and marketplace in their preferred format—eBook, new, used, or rental—and apply financial aid and/or vouchers to complete the purchase electronically. The new system will launch on April 4, 2014, the first day of registration for the summer term.

Students will be able to choose from more than 50,000 eBooks that will be offered at a 30-60% discount off publishers’ list price for physical textbooks. Textbook rentals will cost an average of 50% less than the publisher’s list price. Used books will be offered at 60-75% off publisher’s list price. Students will also be able to sell their textbooks through the marketplace to recoup some of their cost.

“Purchasing textbooks shouldn’t be a financial hardship for anyone,” said CCC student trustee Timakia Hobbs. “Students asked for help and City Colleges listened. These new textbook options are just what we have been waiting for.”

Through an eReader, students can save money while also enhancing learning opportunities: they’ll have the ability to annotate texts and share questions and comments on reading assignments with other students. Instructors will be able to view students’ progress and answer questions posed in the margins.
Under the contract, which runs from November 7, 2013, to May 31, 2019, Akademos will provide a $5,000 annual textbook scholarship to the City Colleges of Chicago Foundation, hire paid student interns each fall term and create kiosk stations at each college to assist students with textbook purchases, among other things.

Through the new system, students will be able to ship books to their home or to a college bookstore for pickup. Bookstores will continue to sell school supplies and other retail items but will not sell textbooks. City Colleges faculty members will be able to search for the textbooks they wish to use in their classes through Akademos’ textbook adoption tool. There are no start-up or monthly costs to City Colleges for Akademos’ services.

About City Colleges of Chicago

The City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) is the largest community college system in Illinois and one of the largest in the nation, with 5,500 faculty and staff serving 115,000 students annually at seven colleges and six satellite sites city-wide. CCC is in the midst of a Reinvention, a collaborative effort to review and revise programs and practices to ensure students leave CCC college- and career-ready. Its internationally-recognized College to Careers initiative partners faculty and staff with industry leaders and four year institutions to prepare Chicagoans for careers in growing fields.

The City Colleges of Chicago includes seven colleges: Richard J. Daley College, Kennedy-King College, Malcolm X College, Olive-Harvey College, Harry S Truman College, Harold Washington College and Wilbur Wright College. The system also oversees the Washburne Culinary Institute, the French Pastry School, two restaurants, two cafes, a banquet facility, five Child Development Centers, the Center for Distance Learning, the Workforce Academy, the public broadcast station WYCC-TV Channel 20 and radio station WKKC-FM 89.3. For more information about City Colleges of Chicago, call (773) COLLEGE or visit