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Instant Access Program

Instant Access

Instructions for Redeeming Your Instant Access Materials

Fall 2019 Instant Access Instructions for Students


Instant Access: An Affordable Course Materials Initiative

Since the Instant Access program’s inception in fall 2016, over 21,000 participants have saved an estimated $1,124,795 by using inclusive access digital course materials compared to the new print equivalent of the same material. On average, 83% of students enrolled in courses for which Instant Access is available have chosen to remain opted-in as participants of affordable, value-driven, inclusive digital course materials.


The Cornell Store’s Instant Access program—in collaboration with top publishers, Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation, and the Cornell Office of the Bursar—delivers digital course materials to students at lower-than-market prices. As costs within higher education continue to rise, The Cornell Store consistently seeks out new ways to help reduce the burden of cost on students. The Cornell Store’s Instant Access partnership is intended to decrease course materials costs for students while ensuring access to these required materials by the first day of class. Digital content provided by Instant Access averages 50 percent less than list pricing of the same materials in printed form. Students are given the choice to opt out of Instant Access material prior to the add/drop date for classes. After that, it is automatically charged to a student’s bursar account for continued access to the digital course materials.


Instant Access offers:

  • Day 1 access to digital course materials through Canvas
  • Transformation of the learner experience with interactive digital content and ebooks
  • Reduced course materials cost compared to current print options
  • Device agnostic with some content available on or offline (Redshelf ebooks)

How does it work?

  • Faculty chooses the digital course materials to offer via Instant Access
  • Student receives access to digital course materials through Canvas by Day 1 of the semester
  • Student chooses to remain opted-in and is bursar billed for the cost of the materials, or student chooses to opt-out by the specified opt-out date and is not charged for the cost of the materials.

Note: students who choose to opt-out are still responsible for acquiring any required materials used in the course.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why is Instant Access digital course materials delivery effective?

Instant Access facilitates a new approach to teaching and learning that adapts to changing student dynamics. Digital course materials provide a flexible learning environment and can make college more affordable, more convenient, and more effective. Students enrolled in an Instant Access course will receive access to all required digital course materials on the first day of class and at a reduced cost compared to the national average.


How much does Instant Access cost?

Check your student booklist for the price of your Instant Access materials. To view pricing for your course(s) participating in the Instant Access program, please go to cornellstore.com, and select “Shop Textbooks by Course.” Log in to view your personalized booklist. Instant Access items will display with the message, “This item does not need to be added to your shopping cart. It will automatically be delivered to your Canvas course page once enrolled in the course. To maintain access to the digital content, your bursar account will automatically be charged after the opt-out date.”


How do I purchase Instant Access digital materials for a course?

Courses enrolled in the Instant Access program are automatically billed after the opt-out deadline. Students who wish to maintain their access to digital course materials at the Instant Access price do not need to do anything. After the opt-out deadline, The Cornell Store will simply bill the cost of the materials to your bursar account. Students who wish to opt-out may do so by the opt-out deadline to avoid this bursar charge for participating in Instant Access.


How do I get my ebook or access code?

Once Canvas is open for the semester, you will have access to your course materials automatically. In your course in Canvas, there will be a link on the left side called “Instant Access.” Click on that link to go to the page for your course materials, and follow the instructions on that page. Your bursar account will be billed for the digital materials after the opt-out period, unless you opt out. See “What does opt out mean” below.


Clicking on the link in Canvas took me to an access code for a website. Now what do I do?

Follow the instructions in Redshelf for the materials that correspond to your course. For detailed instructions, please see the linked PDF document at the top of this page “Fall 2019 Instant Access Instructions for Students.”


When will I have access to my book or course materials?

You will have access to your ebook and digital course materials once your Canvas course opens for the semester.


What does “opt-out” mean?

The Instant Access program at Cornell automatically provides you with your ebooks or digital course materials through a link in Canvas, and is optional to participate. If you do not want to keep the digital course materials provided through Instant Access, you may choose to decline this service (opt-out) and purchase your materials in another way. You must opt-out by the posted opt-out deadline. After that date, your bursar account will be charged for the digital course materials unless you have chosen to opt-out. Keep in mind that it is still your responsibility to acquire any required course materials needed for a course.


How do I opt out?

To opt out, log into cornell.RedShelf.com, go to the “My Courses” page, and select your course. At the bottom of the page, click the grey “I want to opt out of access to all required materials for this course” button. Additional opt-out instructions are contained in the document at the top of this page, “Fall 2019 Instant Access Instructions for Students.”


I opted out by mistake. Can I opt back in?

Yes! If it is before the opt-out date, you can opt back in by going to the cornell.redshelf.com site again. If it is after the deadline, email instantaccess@cornell.edu. Include your NetID, Course (e.g. ‘BIOG 1440’), and section number and let us know you would like to opt back in.


I dropped the course. Will I still be billed?

If you drop the course before the opt-out deadline, you will automatically be opted out, and you will not be billed. If you drop the course after the deadline, you will be refunded if charges have posted to your bursar account for the cost of the materials.


How do I get help if I’m having trouble with access to an ebook in RedShelf?

For help with anything within the RedShelf site (your account, trouble redeeming an access code, or questions about the RedShelf eReader), you may email help@redshelf.com, or visit RedShelf Student Support at https://solve.redshelf.com/hc/en-us to view a list of FAQ or to submit a help request.


How do I get help if I’m having trouble with access to a publisher learning platform (publisher websites outside of RedShelf or Canvas)?

For help with publisher online content, please contact the publisher’s online help team:

Cengage (MindTap or Aplia): https://www.cengage.com/help-center/
Elsevier (Evolve): https://evolve.elsevier.com/education/contact-us/

Macmillan (Sapling or Launchpad): https://macmillan.force.com/macmillanlearning/s/

McGraw-Hill (Connect): http://www.mhhe.com/support

Norton (Total Access): https://helpdesk.wwnorton.com/external/helpdeskrequest.aspx

Pearson (MyLabs or Mastering): https://support.pearson.com/getsupport/s/contactsupport

Wiley (WileyPlus): http://wileyplus.wiley.com/student-resources-support/

Additional Questions

If you have questions regarding something not addressed here, please email instantaccess@cornell.edu