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Boosting Student Affordability

Here’s the latest update from Erin Joyner, Senior Vice President of Product Management for Higher Education.

Affordability is a huge driver of why we announced Cengage Unlimited. Today, too many students must choose between the course materials they can afford and the results they want.


We believe that digital learning can unlock tremendous opportunities for students, and yet, 70% of Higher Ed students across the industry still do not use digital learning materials for their courses. Driven by high costs, students resort to sharing books, buying outdated or counterfeit materials—or worse, nothing at all.


Unfortunately, the traditional way of delivering course materials has been part of the problem, which is why we’re so energized to partner with our authors in introducing Cengage Unlimited:




View full infographic


If you have any questions about Cengage Unlimited or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact us at


I don't recall anyone asking the authors to join in this endeavor.  This appears to be a move that Cengage pursued on its own and authors are simply going to have to accept.



I appreciate your comment.  I'll make sure to have someone from the Cengage Unlimited team get in touch with you personally.




While I do think this is the wave of the future, I need to understand two things:  (1)How are royalties paid for a product that is part of the 119.00 bundle?   (2) Further, if the author of a textbook contributes a considerable amount of digital material to their textbook site what royalties, if any, do they get for that work? 


I think if the future lies with digital and we have all the variations and innovations of ancillary material that can be done with digital for one textbook, authors will be, in many cases, the innovators and creators of that material and will spend considerable time enhancing the other components that can go with their textbook.  The question is how will authors be remunerated for this work?



Given the highly sensitive nature of the Cengage Unlimited business model, our leadership team used a great amount of discretion in the research, development, and announcement of this new program in December 2017.  For years, we have paid close attention to changing market and industry conditions, measured what our customers value and how they consume learning materials, and we are taking this opportunity to be first-movers in truly making a difference in students’ lives and setting Cengage apart from the competition.   


As valued partners, we welcome your input and are interested in hearing your ideas and opinion on Cengage Unlimited and other aspects of our business.  We believe strongly in this model as an affordable accessible alternative to the traditional textbook model which will grow to benefi all parties: Cengage, Authors and Students.  


We have established a Cengage Author Advisory Council that will provide feedback and input in various aspects of this new program and other Cengage initiatives.  With that said, if you have any thoughts, ideas or questions, please share them via email or to your product manager.  Cengage Unlimited is intended to be a collaborative effort to meet the students’ learning needs.




We are currently developing a new royalty reporting system (and other business processes) to accurately track Unlimited student user activity, and will have more information to share later this month, so please stay tuned!