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McGraw-Hill Reports Sales of Digital Units Overtake Print in its U.S. Higher Education Group in 2015

Affordable digital offerings provide better results at a much lower price

Tags: Article, Education Technology, Connect

AUSTIN, Texas, March 7, 2016 McGraw-Hill, a learning science company, today announced that in 2015 unit sales of digital platforms and programs exceeded those of print in its U.S. Higher Education Group for the first time. Last year, the company also expanded the number of adaptive offerings for U.S. higher education to over 1,400, up from 40 in 2012. Increasingly, educators are turning to adaptive programs, which have been shown to improve engagement, student retention, test scores and pass rates. The company saw double-digit growth in activations across its key digital offerings in 2015.

“Our transition to providing digital products that offer better outcomes at meaningfully lower prices is going really well,” said David Levin, president and CEO of McGraw-Hill. “In fact, as students returned to college in early 2016, they activated 1.2 million subscriptions to our Connect platform during January and February, a double-digit increase over the previous year. We are also delighted that for nearly all the courses for which students purchase Connect, they can also order a loose-leaf print version of the textbook for as little as $25 and we continue to encourage those who want print alongside digital to use this very inexpensive option.”

The following key digital platforms and programs – Connect, LearnSmart, SmartBook and ALEKS – reported strong year-over-year growth.

  • Connect, the digital learning platform for students and instructors in U.S. higher education shown to increase both pass rates and retention rates, saw improved engagement with 3.0 million paid activations, an increase of 16% from 2014. Additionally, usage levels grew in 2015 with 89 million student assignments submitted (an increase of 14%) and 10 million instructor assignments created (an increase of 47%).
  • LearnSmart, including SmartBook, the adaptive program available within the Connect platform shown to improve course grades by up to a full letter, saw increased activations of 18% from 2014. This adaptive program has seen 5 billion interactions with students since its inception in 2009, recently growing at an average of more than 100 million interactions per month.
  • ALEKS, an artificially intelligent assessment and learning platform for math with offerings across both the K-12 and U.S. higher education markets and strong efficacy results, saw 1.7 million paid activations, an increase of 14% from 2014. Since 2010, ALEKS has seen over 3.6 billion interactions.

McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings – the company’s subsidiary responsible for the U.S. Higher Education, International and Professional businesses – will report its fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 financial results on Form 10K filed with the SEC and with an investor presentation posted to by March 30, 2016.

McGraw Hill
McGraw Hill is a leading global education company that partners with millions of educators, learners and professionals around the world. Recognizing their diverse needs, we build trusted content, flexible tools and powerful digital platforms to help them achieve success on their own terms. Through our commitment to equity, accessibility and inclusion, we foster a culture of belonging that respects and reflects the diversity of the communities, learners and educators we serve. McGraw Hill has over 40 offices across North America, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions for PreK–12, higher education, professionals and others available in more than 80 languages. Visit us at or find us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Tyler Reed
McGraw Hill
(914) 512-4853