SOURCE: Rafter

Rafter

September 07, 2016 09:00 ET

Bluefield College Successfully Implements Rafter360 Solution to Make College More Affordable and Accessible for All Students

Rafter360® Prepares Students on Day One With All of Their Required Course Materials

SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 7, 2016) - Rafter, a leading course materials management company, and Bluefield College today announced the successful roll out of Rafter360, the proven solution that enables Bluefield to provide 100 percent of required educational materials to all its students at a significantly discounted cost.

Located in the Appalachian Mountains in Bluefield, Va. and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Bluefield College is a private, not-for-profit institution founded in 1922. The college helps prepare innovative learners and transformational leaders to impact a changing world. Bluefield College's 44 academic offerings and focused 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio provide students with a challenging academic and co-curricular experience. The college is recognized for its classroom technology and personalized instruction.

Before Rafter360, Bluefield College offered its students a virtual bookstore model, where students could find the required materials for their courses. Even though the virtual bookstore promised competitive pricing, the campus noticed an alarming trend of students not purchasing their books due to cost. As a result of this model, students would come to class without their required materials and, unprepared to learn, would quickly fall behind in their studies.

"A high number of our students are first-generation or low income. Often, these students have very limited budgets for college tuition and fees and are surprised by unbudgeted expenses such as course materials, which they are unable to afford," said David Olive, President of Bluefield College and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Appalachian College Association.

Bluefield College's administrators knew that they had to act fast to equip their students with more affordable course materials and put them on the path to success. The college ultimately selected Rafter and its all-inclusive Rafter360 solution to achieve this goal. Rafter first provided Bluefield College with an adoption and benchmarking audit, enabling the school to control and lower their final cost. In addition, the flexible fulfillment options provided by Rafter360 allowed Bluefield College to implement both direct shipment and on campus pickup options for their course materials to accommodate the needs of all students, regardless of their program, major, or physical location.

"We want to give all of our students every opportunity to succeed," said Olive. "Rafter360 has given us the transparency and control to now see how content is affecting our overall textbook costs, while still allowing us to maintain academic freedom for faculty. We are now providing our students with an affordable, predictable solution, while delivering 100 percent of their required materials by the first day of class."

Rafter is partnering with schools across the country to transform how they discover, manage, and distribute educational content to students. Rafter's core solution, Rafter360, prepares all students for success by providing them with 100 percent of their print or digital course materials before the start of class. Students pay a flat-rate, predictable access fee that is included in the student bill, which improves college affordability.

"One of the major factors derailing low-income and first-generation college students is a disconnect between tuition and the actual total cost of attendance for college," said Sara Leoni, CEO at Rafter. "Rafter360 not only integrates unexpected and unbudgeted textbook costs into the overall price of tuition, making college more manageable for students and their families; Rafter360 also allows schools unprecedented transparency and control over the costs of their adopted materials, and the savings from these tools are passed on directly to students."

To learn more about Rafter360, visit http://www.rafter.com/rafter360/.

About Rafter
Rafter is a technology company on a mission to improve student success by making higher education more affordable, accessible, and effective for all. To date, hundreds of schools and nearly 3 million students have used Rafter's technology to save nearly $1 billion on textbooks and other educational resources. The company's solution, Rafter360, is transforming how schools discover, manage, and distribute educational content to students. This proven solution enables schools to prepare students with 100 percent of their course materials by the start of classes, ensures full academic freedom, and improves classroom access and college affordability. Based in San Mateo, California, Rafter was founded in 2006. For more information please visit www.rafter.com.

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