Rafter improves student success by making higher education more affordable, accessible, and effective for all. We’re transforming how schools discover, manage, and distribute educational content to students. To date, hundreds of schools and nearly 3 million students have used our technology to save more $700 million on textbooks and other educational resources.
No textbook, no problem? Think again. Students are increasingly coming to class without their required materials and unprepared to learn. Some 65% of students forego buying the required materials due to cost, and 94% of those students worry that it will hurt their grade.1 That’s why in 2014, we launched Rafter360®, a proven, all-inclusive solution that delivers all students 100% of their course materials – print, digital, courseware, workbooks, and everything in between – before day one of class. Today, schools across the country are using our proven solution to level the playing field, lower the cost of attendance, and improve student outcomes.
Source: U.S. Public Interest Research Group, 2014
Before the start of class, your students have 100% of their course materials. Students are prepared to learn and this can lead to improvements in GPAs, retention rates, and enrollment.
All students have full, equal access to all assigned content through a library-like model for any course, regardless of major, field of study, or class schedule. No more haves and have-nots in the classroom.
All students pay the same low, flat access fee included on their student bill. By making the cost of required course materials a predictable and budgeted expense, students can accelerate their academic progress and reduce the overall cost of a college degree.
“Books need to be part of the experience at Mars Hill, just like the pool is. It’s not about the cost of the book but ensuring student success.”
“You expect a desk in a classroom and other certain supplies. Isn’t a book a key item? It needs to be part of what we provide to help students get an education.”
"I love that there are so many ways to win with this program — students win, the bookstore wins, and the faculty win.”
“This is a pretty special place. We’re addressing challenges in unique ways and we found a company in Rafter that is doing that as well.”
“All the books for all the students on day one. This is a fundamental shift for us. Faculty are seeing that it makes a difference in how they are approaching teaching and how students are learning.”
“I would recommend that other CAOs or financial VPs seriously consider Rafter360 because I think this model has the potential to really help students.”
Numbers don’t lie. In Rafter’s first infographic, it’s impossible to deny that the rising price of textbooks is having a negative impact on student preparedness and success. It’s also worth noting that students are ready for a change: 71% are interested in having textbooks included in their tuition and fees, at a reduced cost.
On paper (or online), the benefits of going to a virtual bookstore model seem to speak for themselves. But in reality, universities across the country have found that once implemented, the model does not solve the core issues with learning materials that they see on their campus.
Mars Hill University decided that it was time to take significant steps to improve their first-year retention rate. Roughly 50 percent of the student body are first-generation students and half receive Pell Grants. After K-12 education, where books are always provided by the institution, first-generation freshmen often show up at Mars Hill without having budgeted for textbooks.