2023 Student & Academic Technologies


Improved textbook accessibility & affordability 

Over the past 16 months, Student & Academic Technologies teams have worked with University Libraries and Arizona Bookstores towards a collective goal to improve student success at the University of Arizona while lowering the cost of course materials.

The University of Arizona BookStores introduced the Pay One Price program, aimed at reducing textbook costs and increasing predictability for students. Under this initiative, undergraduate students at the main campus can access all required textbooks regardless of the number of courses they take or their major. With the skyrocketing costs of textbooks in recent years, the Pay One Price program makes sure all students who attend the University of Arizona have access to their course materials without the stress associated with trying to figure out which classes they can afford to buy course materials for. The program emphasizes convenience, seamless transactions, and day one access. It also benefits faculty as it ensures they can start teaching their students on day one, knowing that all their students have their course materials.

Mark Felix, Director of Student Information Systems at UITS, explains that the university has actually offered the Inclusive Access textbook sales model for a number of years by adding the cost of digital course content into students’ tuition and fees.

“Inclusive Access gives a student the best price available for any textbook; usually anywhere from a savings of 30-40% compared to a physical book.”

Costs from one course to another change depending on the number and price of books and materials. “With Pay One Price, there is an actual cap so that students pay up to the cap each spring and fall and thereby have access to all the books they need, no matter the cost.” This helps students better predict their cost of attendance each semester, alleviating the fluctuating financial burden, and giving them more opportunities to make academic choices based on their interests and less on the cost of course materials.

The program, which is launching in the Fall 2023 semester, will replace the existing Inclusive Access system. Accessible through students’ D2L accounts a week before classes begin, the Pay One Price program works with a billing system integrated into their bursar accounts to create a seamless experience for students. Students can opt-out within the first two weeks of classes if they choose not to participate. However, Felix said that the University of Arizona is performing well in the number of opt-outs, with rates below 20%, compared to 30-40% of students opting out of similar programs at other universities.

Many UITS team members partnered with the Arizona Bookstores during the planning and implementation phase of the multi-year project. This included IT staff augmentation and project management to facilitate a smooth transition to the new Pay One Price program. The UITS Integrated Digital Experience Technology Team provided IT architecture leadership, business process mapping, vendor integration solutions and code review for the project. UAccess Student and Academic Technologies staff teamed up to ensure the Bookstore team had the right data access which was critical to a successful integration across multiple University and vendor platforms. The UAccess Student team also created several ad hoc reports to ensure business decisions on the impact of costs to different student populations were made with real data. Communication assistance also came from the Trellis team’s CatCloud and UCATT to help faculty and students understand how to access their ebooks and homework applications inside D2L.

Peter Neff, Executive Director, University Bookstore has high praise for the UITS team efforts, “The technical support we received from the Student & Academic Technologies team along with all our partners at UITS worked through all the nuances of the program to make it work.”

There were multiple vendor solutions in place that required a team approach to initiating change without disrupting business. 79 Consulting played a big role in helping the Academic Technologies teams integrate the program. In some places there were vendor to vendor solutions in place so there was no need to create new code. Inclusive Access has been around for a while, however, Pay One Price is still relatively new so the University’s collaboration with multiple vendors actually helped the vendors develop their product to accommodate the Pay One Price solution.

National data indicates that students having their course materials at the start of the semester will lead to an improvement in overall performance (GPA).With Pay One Price in place, the University has given students a better chance to succeed.

Unique combinations of book publishers and homework applications.

Per semester. Any publisher, any book.

FY23 Metrics


(Oracle PeopleSoft 9.2 PUM 8.58.11)

Financial Aid Disbursed


(20-21 Academic Year)


Distinct Enrollment Requests


Total Modifications to System



(Version 5.4.1)

Number of Sessions


Number of Participants


Meeting Minutes



Not purchase the required textbook


Take fewer courses


Not register for a specific course


Earn a poor grade


Drop a course


Withdraw from a course


Fail a course

Source: 2018 survey of nearly 23,000 higher education students by Florida Virtual Campus


  • UAccess Student
  • Classroom & Lab Technologies
  • Instructional Technologies

As far as we can tell no other university has built a model with this kind of success in the country. We have made sure that almost 90% of our undergraduate students have all their course materials for a given semester."

~ Peter Neff, Executive Director, UA BookStores