City Colleges of Chicago Takes an Innovative Step to Reduce Textbook Costs

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Largest Illinois Community College System chooses online bookstore provider Akademos to increase access to quality, low-cost textbooks and improve academic preparedness.

With this new contract, we will bring significant relief to students in the form of new and more affordable textbook options and ensure [that] City Colleges continues to offer one of the best educational values in the region.

City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), one of the largest community college systems in the U.S. and the largest in Illinois, has chosen Akademos as its online bookstore partner, launching Summer 2014 across seven Chicago campuses. Akademos, a 13-year-old integrated online bookstore services provider, is the leader in helping colleges and universities improve student access to high-quality, low-cost course materials via their TextbookX marketplace platform.    

“Textbook prices have exploded during the last thirty years, rising faster than tuition and healthcare rates,”(1) CCC 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 [that] City Colleges continues to offer one of the best educational values in the region.”

With research showing that up to one in three U.S. college-level students are opting not to purchase required textbooks at all(2), colleges are seeking innovative ways to connect students to high-quality academic materials at affordable prices. Access to affordable course materials is particularly important to helping cost-conscious community college students complete their education. Additionally, with student debt skyrocketing, lowering the amount of financial aid applied toward textbooks helps reduce long-term student debt.

“We are pleased to welcome City Colleges of Chicago to the Akademos network of schools,” said John Squires, CEO of Akademos. "Colleges and universities responsible for educating a large number of enrolled students are increasingly seeing the need to reduce textbook costs in order to increase academic preparedness and completion rates. We applaud CCC's decision and feel they are a great fit for Akademos."

City Colleges of Chicago will utilize Akademos’ TextbookX platform. An integration with CCC's course registration and financial aid systems will produce a customized, easy-to-use bookstore experience for students.

Akademos believes every student has the right to affordable, high-quality educational materials. Akademos’ full-service, online solution delivers cost savings on textbooks while providing administrators and faculty critical control over the textbook delivery process. To learn more about online bookstore services for educational institutions, visit the Akademos website.

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-renowned College to Careers initiative partners with industry-leading companies 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

About Akademos
Akademos offers virtual bookstore services, eLearning solutions, and an innovative textbook marketplace to schools. Its comprehensive supply-chain solution and commitment to responsive personal service make Akademos a leader in providing affordable textbooks and digital learning tools for schools. Students are able to choose from new, used, rental, and eBook options while schools can reduce costs and increase operating efficiency. Faculty can search, discover, and adopt new texts using the Akademos Textbook Adoption Tool at Akademos delivers the right course materials, at affordable prices, on time. Learn more about Akademos' direct-to-students ecommerce platform at and its offerings to partner schools at

(2)- National Survey on Student Engagement, November 2012

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Jen Slemp
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Online Bookstore and Marketplace