SOURCE: Rafter


October 21, 2015 09:00 ET

Illinois College Selects Rafter's Textbooks-in-Tuition Program Rafter360™ to Prepare Students and Foster Their Success

Rafter360 Provides 100 Percent of Materials by the First Day of Class, Ensuring All Students Are Prepared to Learn

SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 21, 2015) - Rafter, the leading course materials management company, today announced the successful implementation of Rafter360™, its textbooks-in-tuition program, at Illinois College for the Fall 2015 semester.

Illinois College, located in Jacksonville, Ill., is a private liberal arts college with roughly 1,000 students and an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The college distinguishes itself by offering an innovative curriculum, life-defining experiences, and a global footprint to students from all backgrounds. The college's small class sizes encourage high levels of student participation and discussion and a wide variety of engaged learning methods. Illinois College is the only liberal arts college in Illinois to be named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll each of the eight years the honor has been awarded.

Illinois College began noticing a problem on campus -- many students didn't purchase all the course materials assigned by faculty. Virtually all of the college's students receive financial aid and around half of students are first-generation or from low-income families. Many students would not purchase books they could not afford, leaving them unprepared for class. This affected the faculty as well, who had to alter their courses to take the students without books into account.

"Our faculty struggled with the decision to require books when a student couldn't afford them, so it was very difficult on our curriculum," said Elizabeth Tobin, Provost and Dean of Illinois College. "I had been looking for a solution to this issue for a number of years. It was very important that the solution we chose would work specifically for Illinois College and solve our root problem of students not having books."

To solve this issue, the college looked at several course materials management options, including a review of the virtual bookstore model, but many didn't offer the academic freedom that the faculty needed and didn't solve the problem of students opting out of buying textbooks. Illinois College chose to partner with Rafter because Rafter360 ensured all textbooks would be in the hands of students on the first day of class and allowed the College to integrate the cost of textbooks into tuition.

"In the end, none of the companies, except Rafter, really had a good alternative to fold the book cost into tuition and give students all of their books on day one," said Frank Williams, Vice President of Business Affairs and Assistant Treasurer at Illinois College. "It is going to be so much easier for students and their families, especially those on financial aid packages, to figure out the cost of college if it's wrapped into tuition and isn't an extra cost once they arrive. We hope to see retention and graduation rates increase and believe Rafter will foster student learning because being prepared for class is essential for success."

"Rafter is on a mission to make education more affordable, accessible, and effective for college students. We're dedicated to helping students succeed and making sure they're prepared for class is a big step in the right direction," said Sara Leoni, CEO at Rafter. "With Rafter360, all students at Illinois College, including low income and first-generation students, will have their course materials by the first day of class, helping to set them up for success from the beginning."

Faculty members benefitted from Rafter360 as well because it offered them academic freedom, enabling them to choose course materials from a catalog of more than 20 million unique titles, plus other titles they wished to add. The Rafter support team worked closely with Illinois College, enabling the college to carry out the implementation process more quickly and smoothly than anticipated. By organizing the process, students only had to wait 2-3 minutes to pick up their books, as opposed to long bookstore lines.

To learn more about Rafter360 or to register for an upcoming webinar, visit

About Rafter
Rafter is an established course materials management company. Hundreds of campuses and over 2.7 million students have used Rafter's technology to save nearly $700 million on textbooks. The company's mission is to help students save money and be prepared for success in the classroom. Building on its course materials experience and long-term relationships with hundreds of colleges and suppliers, Rafter is redesigning and transforming the entire process of course materials management with its Rafter360™ solution. Based in San Mateo, California, Rafter was founded in 2006. More information about Rafter360 can be found at

About Illinois College
Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Ill. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs and a Master of Arts in Education degree program. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state. Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Visit for more information.

Contact Information

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    Jessica Cheney
    CommStrat for Rafter
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    Todd Spann
    Illinois College Office of Marketing and Communication
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