Educational software developer BenchPrep announced a change in its basic business plan and is switching to a subscription model that will provide unlimited access to its library of interactive courses for a flat fee of $30 a month. The change is expected to make it easier and cheaper for students to study across academic disciplines and take a variety of courses by BenchPrep, which offers a lineup of about 70 interactive courses for high school, college, graduate level and professional certification.
BenchPrep previously offered a library of digital courses (complete with interactive analytics and assessment tools) available for individual purchase for about $100. Under the old model, consumers bought access to an individual interactive course but if they found they needed more work in a different course area, they would have to purchase another course separately. The company offers about 70 courses now, expects to have 100 courses by the end of the year and as many as 500 courses by 2013.
BenchPrep cofounder Ashish Rangnekar, said that the company has “reached a point where we can make this kind of offer. We will have a lot of resources, courses for high school, college, graduate and professional level. And as a student grows, they can grow within BenchPrep.” While students can still buy an individual course if they choose, now BenchPrep will be able to offer students multiple courses across disciplines. “A student that starts a course in MCAD, the graduate medical course, and realizes they need more work in biology can just take the course without having to pay more money to do so.”
Rangnekar said BenchPrep began to notice that people were buying multiple courses but they also noticed a dropoff after a student bought one or two courses, “for every student that buys one course, a hundred did not.” He said the change will offer flexibility and cost savings to students and more revenue for BenchPrep. “The goal is more revenue and we’re confident that this change will make that happen,” he said, “this kind of relationship will different and a student will be able to stay with us for 2 or 3 years.”
In addition, Rangnekar said the new subscription model will also generate more usable data and analytics, “data on student usage will grow now that students can navigate across courses. We can see when they need help with a particular subject and recommend courses, put together a personalized learning program and offer each student and customized playlist of courses.”