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FAQ on Bundles

What are “bundles”?

Bundles are packages that contain a textbook along with other course materials that may assist a student in their studies. These additional course materials may include such items as study guides, CD-ROMs, and access codes to textbook-companion web sites. Bundles are typically packaged and sold as a single unit.

Is the use of bundles increasing?

College stores report that the use of bundles is increasing because a greater number of instructors are adopting (or requiring) bundles, or utilizing some of the components that are contained in a typical bundle.

Do customers like them?

When asked to rank the importance of factors when deciding to purchase required course materials, students ranked whether or not the textbook is packaged with additional items relatively low in the Student Watch™ fall 2013 report.


Students complain that bundles make course materials more expensive. This complaint is exacerbated when bundled materials are required, but not all of the materials in the bundle are used in the classroom. In addition, bundling makes the lost-cost renting of textbooks difficult.

What is NACS’ position on bundling?
The National Association of College Stores (NACS) supports the effective design, packaging, and utilization of course materials that improve learning and are valued by faculty and students.

NACS opposes legislation that includes mandates that restrict the sale of faculty-adopted course materials, including bundles, at the point of sale by college stores—thus undermining the ability of college stores to support the academic mission of the colleges and universities they serve.


NACS encourages publishers to provide the opportunity to acquire individual components of bundled course materials for adoption and resale at a reasonable cost. NACS applauds those publishers who offer this option to fit the specific needs of faculty and students.


© National Association of College Stores
Revised: January 2014
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