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Cengage to Offer Affordable, Unlimited On-Demand Access to Digital Course Materials

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These days, paying for college is not an easy feat. While the cost of tuition and fees continues to rise, household income has actually declined—forcing most students to take out loans in order to complete their education. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, nearly half of student loan borrowers leave school at least $20,000 in debt. Thirty percent of borrowers are unable to make a dent in their loan balance after five years of repayment, and more than 60 percent of borrowers not reducing their balances are delinquent.

While they can’t do anything about tuition increases, Cengage, the largest US-based provider of teaching and learning materials for higher education, is launching a program that should make the cost of textbooks and study guides more affordable for millions of college students across the US. RewardExpert spoke with Kevin Stone, chief sales and marketing officer, about Cengage Unlimited.

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A First-of-its-Kind Subscription Program

Launching in August 2018 for the fall semester, Cengage Unlimited is a first-of-its kind subscription that will provide students with unlimited access to more than 20,000 digital materials spanning 70 disciplines and more than 675 courses.

For just $119.99 per semester, students can utilize any ebook in Cengage’s comprehensive library as well as access digital learning platforms, online homework, and study tools. They can even rent printed materials for the mere cost of shipping. With course materials usually averaging more than $500 per year, the company believes the new Cengage Unlimited program will provide significant savings while removing barriers to effective learning.

“Our frontline learning consultants hear concerns around affordability from faculty every day,” Stone explained, citing recent research that found 45 percent of students have chosen not to register for a course because of the cost of materials, while 38 percent have earned poor grades because they took courses without buying the related materials. “It’s probably the number one concern that our customers have.” image
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While Stone says Cengage teams are still talking with university faculty about the content, technology, and services they’re planning to use next semester, he estimates roughly 11 million students will have the opportunity to benefit from the Cengage Unlimited subscription.

“Any student taking a course where Cengage is the adopted product will be able to subscribe to Cengage Unlimited,” he said. “Plus, the entire library is available to them for reference, which could be beneficial even for courses that don’t use our products. Ultimately, we think this is a win-win-win for everybody: for our student customers, for the educators, and great for our business long-term.”

A 150-Year Publishing History

Though purchased by private equity in 2007, Cengage’s publishing history goes back more than 150 years under the name Thomson Learning. In addition to an extensive library of digital course materials, the education and technology company offers several higher education platforms including MindTap, the industry’s leading digital learning tool, and WebAssign, an online homework solution.

To learn more about Cengage Unlimited or any other Cengage service, visit

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