Academic Solutions · Article

What Fall 2022 Tells Us About Spring 2023 – and Beyond

December 8, 2022

Barnes & Noble College keeps a finger on the pulse of what’s driving success for our campus bookstores and the communities they serve. Last academic year, the number of students who visited their campus bookstore increased by 20 percent, and it’s been a dynamic year so far as we reimagine the shopping experience to welcome them back. The following are three key observations to keep in mind as we prepare for the next semester – and even the next academic year.

  1. Access to course materials before the first day of class improves student outcomes
  2. Reimagined retail experiences engaged students and fans
  3. Enhancing the customer experience strengthens an institution’s brand


The data is clear: students need their required course materials by the first day of class. Equitable access programs offer the most accessible, convenient, affordable way to ensure students are prepared with the materials they need before the first day of class. The growth of First Day® Complete – Barnes & Noble College’s equitable access program – affirms this with 110+ campuses and 547,000 students participating as of Fall 2022 – an increase of 85% year over year.

Through First Day Complete, students receive their course materials before the first day of class through a simplified process, with course material costs included as part of tuition or applied as a course charge. Since more than three-fourths of students used print course materials in the last year, the program allows faculty to adopt both print and digital course materials aligning with student preferences.

Most importantly, data shows that First Day Complete plays a role in student success. Independent research and BNC’s student research confirm that the program supports student success, convenience and affordability.


Students prefer buying school spirit gear from the campus bookstore – and it shows. In our recent Student Pulse survey, 79% of students said they visited the campus store in person in the last six months, representing an increase of 20 percentage points year over year. Fall 2022 kicked off with significant sales increases, both in store and online.

We keep students shopping by delivering the merchandise they crave. BNC campus stores have access to the widest network of logo product vendors in the industry, thanks to our partnership with Fanatics and Lids. Each store’s assortment is showcased with best-in-class merchandising strategies and promoted through thoughtfully curated on-campus and digital marketing campaigns that drive traffic and sales.


With unrivaled store design expertise and a deep understanding of our customers, BNC transforms campus bookstores into inviting retail environments and community hubs. Each store is tailored to the institution’s unique brand, and the Student Pulse survey revealed that 79% of students are satisfied with the way their store inspires school spirit and culture.

To learn more about how BNC can support the academic journey, retail experience and institutional brand on your campus, contact us.

More Insights

Academic Solutions · Article
From Self-Op to BNC Operated: Pitt-Greensburg’s Campus Store Transformation
The Director of Finance and Risk Management at University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg shared insights on transitioning store operations to Barnes & Noble College, securing buy-in for an equitable access program, and three key factors in the university’s successful launch.
05 / 11 / 2023
university students studying with teacher
Academic Solutions · Article
First Day Complete: You Asked, We Answered
During BNC’s recent webinar on equitable access, audience members submitted questions on topics such as publisher availability, price, OER and more. Here’s what our panel of faculty and administrators had to say.
04 / 18 / 2023
sam houston state university boundar wall
Academic Solutions · Article
First Day® Complete Perspectives: SHSU Talks Long-Term Program Benefits
After seven semesters, First Day Complete is well established at Sam Houston State University. The most recent AVP of Auxiliary Services shares insights on student and faculty communication, the benefits of more access, convenience, and affordability, plus parents’ positive response to the program.
04 / 04 / 2023