In February 2015, Barnes & Noble had announced plans to spin off its college bookstore assets and create a separate company called Barnes & Noble Education. On August 3, 2015, Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol, "BNED". The company operated stores dedicated to selling college textbooks, both on and off campus.
In February 2017, Barnes & Noble Education had acquired MBS Textbook Exchange, a major textbook distributor based in Columbia, Missouri, for $174.2 million in cash.
By December 2018, Barnes & Noble Education had operated or managed 773 campus bookstores under contracts.
In July 2019, Barnes & Noble Education revealed that the company had turned down several offers by California-based Bay Capital Finance to take over the company citing that the offers by Bay Capital were "substantially undervalued BNED, were highly conditional and not credible." Unlike its former parent company, BNED was diversifying its business by the acquisition of many digital services companies to increase the number of services offered by its Digital Student Solutions division during its past four years as an independent company.
In March 2016, Barnes & Noble Education enlarged their Digital Student Solutions online services division by acquiring LoudCloud Systems, a digital platform and analytics provider to clients in higher education, the for-profit sector, and K-12 segment.
In August 2017, Barnes & Noble Education acquired Student Brands for $58.5 Million.
In August 2018, Barnes & Noble Education acquired PaperRater, a service that help students write papers and identify plagiarism.