McHENRY, Ill., Dec. 13, 2018 – Follett today announced it has acquired NextTier Education, a cloud-based software solution that provides counselors, students, and parents with guidance, information and insight to help students achieve their postsecondary goals and ensure every student has equal access to higher education.
Earlier this year, Follett entered into an exclusive channel partnership with Chicago-based NextTier to sell the college and career readiness solution to public, private, and international school districts and schools.
"Our relationship for the past six months with NextTier convinced us this is a perfect fit for Follett moving forward as it provides a bridge to our K-12, higher ed, and public library businesses," said Nader Qaimari, president, Follett School Solutions. "Significantly, we want to ensure every child, regardless of their situation or background, has the ability to explore postsecondary education and career opportunities. With NextTier, students starting as early as sixth grade, and in conjunction with their school counselors and parents, can select their possible career path and begin their college or vocational readiness."
With its easy-to-use web- and mobile-based platform, NextTier delivers critical information on all two-and four-year colleges. In addition, it provides each student with a comprehensive college application plan, including a detailed list of every school's required tasks, step-by-step guidance, and deadlines throughout the process. NextTier also features a database with more than 20,000 scholarships and grants to successfully match students with the right financial support opportunities.
Qaimari said Follett will integrate the NextTier platform with its Aspen student information system and eventually with its market-leading Destiny solution.
"We also will build out NextTier into a product for public libraries so that all kids have access to scholarships, test preparation, and career exploration," said Qaimari, who added that Baker & Taylor, a Follett company, will spearhead this initiative. He further noted Follett's higher education team will play a key role as Follett's network of college and university partners will be able to integrate with NextTier to build a bridge between high school and college.
Justin Shiffman, founder/CEO of NextTier, said he is confident the company he founded in 2014 will be in excellent hands with Follett.
"Our partnership with Follett has shown us first-hand its quality, integrity and passion, which perfectly aligns with our mission and why I first started the company," Shiffman said. "We look forward to the pairing of our platform with Follett's experience in the marketplace and its stellar, well-deserved reputation. We mutually share the same vision and we are beyond fortunate to be part of Follett's expansion into this space."
Shiffman noted that while more than 90 percent of high school students desire college educations, fewer than 50 percent achieve that goal. In founding NextTier, he said it was his goal to help level the playing field to provide all students with equal access to the resources they need to navigate that process.
The NextTier acquisition is the latest for Follett, which in July announced it had acquired Fishtree, a leading adaptive learning platform.
For more information about Follett, visit www.FollettLearning.com.
About Follett's PreK-12 Business
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.
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About Follett Corporation
Follett Corporation is the world's largest single source of books, entertainment products, digital content and multi-media for libraries, schools and retailers. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett provides education technology, services and physical and digital content to millions of students at 70,000 schools and more than 2,850 physical and virtual campus stores in North America. Through Baker & Taylor, Follett's reach also extends to the public library and global retail markets.