Monthly Archives: July 2011


Kno, Inc. Survey Reveals More Than Half of Students Would Rather Eat Boxed Macaroni and Cheese for Every Meal for a Month Than Carry a Semester’s Worth of Textbooks

SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 27, 2011 - College students find print textbooks so cumbersome that 73 percent are willing do something they might not normally do, including give up dating or sex, in order to never have to carry another one, according to a new survey by Kelton Research.  Kno, Inc., a leading education software company, commissioned the survey of American college students across the country and found that most college students (71 percent) want to go digital, whether through an application on a tablet such as an iPad®, through the Web on a laptop, netbook or desktop, or via a smartphone.

The findings of the study show a shift in perception from college students and lend new light to the future of digital learning.  While cost plays a large part of students’ desire to switch to digital textbooks, it’s also the ability to better their study habits.  Currently, students carry around such items as textbooks, notebooks, pens and organizational systems like a planner in their backpacks.  Because the textbooks alone weigh so much, about a quarter (24 percent) of students carrying 20 pounds or more on a typical day, there’s a lot of running back and forth to the dorms to get a book for the next class and a lot of back pain.

When they get to class, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to follow along with the professor.  According to the survey, 46 percent of college students have been prevented from studying because they forgot the specific book they needed.  Furthermore, 20 percent have lost their books and 16 percent have been hindered due to missing pages in the book.  An application like Kno’s Textbooks for iPad keeps textbooks, notes and class materials in one location, which is important to students.  If they could access their textbooks from anywhere without having to lug them around, a majority of students said they would study more often (62 percent) and more efficiently (54 percent).

With tuition rates continuing to rise across the county, nine in ten (87 percent) college students have had to cut back on expenses in order to pay for their textbooks.  And it’s no wonder, as college students expect to spend close to $2,400 on textbooks during their time as undergrads.  Making matters worse is the fact that many don’t see a majority of this money again.  College students expect to only receive an average of 30 percent of the money they spent on textbooks when they sell them back.  In fact, about two-thirds (65 percent) think the depreciating costs of textbooks is more unfair than interest rates on student loans.

“I spend so much money on textbooks every semester and when I go to sell them back, typically receive less than half of what I paid,” said Mary Beth Burch, a graduate student at UC Denver.  “That’s why having an application like Kno is extremely helpful.  I can purchase or rent my books for 30-50 percent off list price, which helps me save a lot of money.  It’s also convenient to have my textbooks available on my iPad, which I take with me everywhere.”

Another interesting piece of the survey revealed that most college students (78 percent) don’t think that their professors are currently doing enough to enhance their learning experience with technology, such as with online tutorials or digital textbooks.  Yet despite that, they see the shift happening, as 44 percent believe that in five years, college professors will no longer require students to use physical textbooks.

Below are a few additional findings from the survey:
  • 75 percent of students have had to forgo entertainment such as movies or concerts in order to pay for textbooks
  • 57 percent have surrendered travel such as their spring break so they can purchase textbooks
  • 48 percent are afraid that they will run out of memory to store all of the books they need
  • 45 percent have had to cut back on food in order to pay for their books
  • 35 percent are afraid that they will not be able to find the exact book or edition required
  • 34 percent of college students would rather take 8am classes every day for their entire college career if it meant never having to carry another textbook
  • 34 percent would stay home every Saturday night for a semester for the same reason
  • 28 percent would have their parents visit them at school every other weekend for an entire school year if it meant no more physical textbooks
  • One thing college students have not cut back on alcohol – with only 19 percent cutting back a beer budget in order to buy textbooks
The Kno college student survey was conducted through an email invitation and online survey by Kelton Research on behalf of Kno. The survey took place between July 14 and July 21, 2011 among 506 college students, aged 18 and over and 21 and over in the case of alcohol related questions. In this particular study, the chances are 96 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
For more information, go to
About KNO
Kno, Inc. is an education software company on a mission to make learning engaging, effective, and social for students. Osman Rashid, the co-founder of Chegg, and Babur Habib, a consumer electronics veteran, founded Kno, Inc. in May 2009. The company has received funding from Advance Publications, Inc., Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, FLOODGATE, Goldman Sachs, GSV Capital, Intel Capital, Ron Conway, Silicon Valley Bank, SV Angels and TriplePoint Capital and is based in Santa Clara, California. For more information, go to, or follow Kno at and

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Kathryn Kelly

Educational Value is Prime Consideration in Students’ College Choice

Maguire Associates/Fastweb Survey Also Confirms ROI, Financial Aid Appeals and Online/Social Tools Are Factors in Enrollment Decisions

CONCORD, Mass., July 12, 2011 Even two years after the height of the recession, economic concerns continue to influence where students choose to enroll for college, forcing many into a school that was not their first choice, according to the latest research from Maguire Associates and Ultimately, though, the primary factor in students’ decisions is a combination of perceived educational quality and costs.

Nearly 2,400 high school seniors were surveyed in follow-up to the annual College Decision Impact Survey that was conducted in January for insights into the factors that were most important in determining where these students enrolled. Key factors included use of social media and reliance on schools’ individual net price calculators (NPCs), which all US colleges and universities will be required to provide on their websites by late October 2011.

“Families are looking carefully at whether colleges and universities deliver the ROI they’re promising to students,” said Tara Scholder, Senior Vice President of Maguire Associates. “This means that to meet their enrollment management goals, institutions will need to prove their value as well as be strategic with their financial aid awards.”

Economy Remains a Significant Factor

Despite relative improvements, the US economy is still a major factor when it comes to enrollment decisions; for instance, more than one-third (37 percent) of seniors reported that the current economy heavily or highly influenced where they ultimately enrolled. In fact, nearly one-third (31 percent) of those who did not enroll in their first-choice school said that their main reason was that they could not afford it.

The survey findings also confirm the importance of cost and financial aid in students’ decision making. Two of the most important reasons they enrolled at their chosen school were financial – “scholarship or financial assistance” (43 percent) and “total costs” (41 percent). Still, “quality of major” ranked highest in their decisions (45 percent) and “academic reputation” (38 percent) was also paramount.

“Show Me the Money”

More than half of the seniors surveyed (56 percent) received need-based financial aid from their enrollment schools, and 50 percent received merit aid. However, many did not receive what they were hoping for; eight out of 10 respondents (82 percent) applied for need-based financial aid.

Perhaps as a result of the “shortfall,” approximately one in five seniors said that they appealed their initial financial aid offer from their enrollment school. The responsiveness of schools seems to have led many students to reverse course, enrolling in public schools despite a preference for a private education, and vice versa. For instance, one-third (33 percent) of those who preferred a public education, but ultimately enrolled in a private school, appealed the initial aid package offered by the college/university they chose. Nearly half of them (45 percent) received more aid from their enrollment schools as a result.

Public schools that sweetened their aid packages were also successful in persuading students to enroll, even if those students had initially preferred a private school. One in five (19 percent) of these “switchers” to public institutions appealed their offers from their enrollment schools, and nearly one-third of this group (32 percent) were successful in garnering additional aid.

“Although students were less likely to switch their enrollment choice from their initial preference of a public college to a private institution than vice versa, financial issues were one of the most significant reasons for a switch in either direction,” said Mark Kantrowitz, Publisher, “These issues contributed to the difficulty of making their final choice.”

Online Influence: Social Media and Net Price Calculators

In addition, online and social content and tools may have helped tip the decision making scales for students:

  • Over half (54 percent) of survey respondents recalled reading information on a social media site about the school where they chose to enroll.
  • Approximately one-third of them (32 percent) completed the net price calculator (NPC) provided or hosted by their enrollment schools. These online NPCs help students estimate the cost of attending individual schools, based on their financial situations and aid opportunities.

“Increasingly, institutions that provide an accurate, easy-to-use NPC with messaging built into it will have the opportunity to influence prospective students by emphasizing value as well as net price,” said Tara Scholder, Maguire Associates.

About Maguire Associates

Maguire Associates is a research-based consulting firm that exclusively serves educational clients – close to 400 of them – from colleges and universities to independent and public schools, consortia and government organizations focused on education. For 25 years, the firm has applied innovations in market research, analysis, and predictive modeling to help clients understand the dynamics of past performance, apply insightful knowledge to sound decision-making, and attain desired outcomes. For more information, visit

About Fastweb

Fastweb is the nation’s recognized leader in helping students pay for school, by providing scholarship and financial aid information, as well as jobs and internships. One out of three college-bound seniors use the site, and more than 50 million* members have benefited from Fastweb’s information and services. Fastweb lets students create a personalized profile that can be matched against its expansive databases of colleges and scholarships. As the oldest and most popular free online scholarship matching service, the database has more than 1.5 million scholarships totaling over $3.4 billion. (*9 million are active users of the site.) For more information, visit

For media inquiries and to learn more about the survey please contact:

Zora Falkowski, Porter Novelli for Fastweb
617-897-8247 or