New program to provide students with more affordable, convenient access to course materials

MACON – Mercer University today announced that it has partnered with Barnes & Noble College (BNC) to implement the new “Bear Book Bundle,” beginning fall 2021.

The “Bear Book Bundle” is powered by BNC First Day® Complete, an innovative course material delivery model that addresses affordability and equitable access across all courses at an institution by bundling the cost of materials into tuition or fees. The program results in an average 35-50% reduction in cost to students and ensures they have all of their materials for the semester available to them on or before the first day of class.

Additionally, First Day Complete fully supports academic freedom and faculty choice. Faculty members can choose the materials that are best suited for their teaching, regardless of publisher or format.

“In response to student concerns, we began researching a variety of options to help students and their families reduce textbook costs,” said Ken Boyer, associate vice president for auxiliary services at Mercer. “Through our partnership with Barnes & Noble College, we developed a program to create a cost-effective solution for students while providing faculty the ability to maintain academic freedom as they adopt materials for their courses.”

Mercer’s undergraduate students may begin participating in the “Bear Book Bundle” program for the upcoming fall semester. After students have registered for courses, they will receive an email from the campus bookstore prompting them to select their preferred delivery method. The bookstore will prepare course materials for each student and notify them when materials have shipped or are available for pickup. Digital materials will be delivered directly through Canvas, the University’s learning management system.

Mercer’s Office of Auxiliary Services has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the “Bear Book Bundle” that will be updated as new information about the program becomes available.

“We are very excited to partner with Mercer University to introduce the ‘Bear Book Bundle,’” said Jonathan Shar, Barnes & Noble Education’s executive vice president of retail and client solutions. “In addition to driving down the cost of course materials, the ‘Bear Book Bundle’ will significantly improve the student experience by making it simpler and more convenient to prepare for a new semester of learning. We look forward to working closely with Mercer to create a new concierge-like course material experience that will drive affordability, improved student outcomes and ease of use across campus.”

Barnes & Noble College, a Barnes & Noble Education company, currently operates more than 770 campus stores nationwide. For more information about Barnes & Noble College’s services and locations, visit www.bncollege.com.

About Barnes & Noble College

Barnes & Noble College is a leading operator of college bookstores in the United States. Barnes & Noble College currently operates 772 campus bookstores and the school-branded e-commerce sites for each store, serving more than 5 million college students and faculty nationwide. General information on Barnes & Noble College can be obtained by visiting the Company’s website: www.bncollege.com.

Kyle Sears
Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​