NACS’ research division, OnCampus Research, recently conducted an e-book and e-reader survey to find out how much college students are accessing e-books and the devices that they are using. Highlights from the report can be found here.
The study produced many interesting findings. In regards to e-book purchases, 13 percent of college students said that they purchased an e-book within the past three months. Of the 13 percent, 56 percent said that the primary reason for their purchase was that it was a required course material for class.
In regards to devices, eight percent of college students currently own an e-reader or an Apple iPad. Of the 92 percent that do not own a device, five percent plan to make a purchase in the near future and another 36 percent are unsure if they will buy one. The primary reason that 42 percent of students gave for not wanting to purchase a device was that they prefer print books. An additional one-third of the students said that they were not sure how an e-reader device would benefit them and 18 percent said that the device was too expensive or they were waiting for prices to drop.
These stats show that interest in e-books and e-readers is growing but the majority of students still prefer print or do not yet see the need for a device. This is likely to change as the technology progresses, the prices for e-readers come down, and the benefits are realized. In addition, the students in college today tend to have a lower preference for digital than the students a few years younger. As these students enter college in the next few years, we will likely see a significant change in preferences.