SOURCE: Rafter


October 14, 2015 09:00 ET

Rafter Launches Rafter360™ at Mars Hill University, Securing Textbooks for 100 Percent of Students on Day One

Mars Hill University Improves Student Experience and Opportunities for Success With Rafter360

SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 14, 2015) -  Rafter, a leading course materials management company, has partnered with Mars Hill University for the successful launch of its cutting-edge textbooks-in-tuition program Rafter360™ for the Fall 2015 semester.

Mars Hill University, located 15 miles north of Asheville, N.C., is a private, four-year liberal arts institution that serves 1,400 undergraduate students in 33 fields of study. The university competes in 21 intercollegiate sports and are 21-time national champions in clogging, a type of folk dance.

In recent years, increasing numbers of students at Mars Hill University, especially first-generation and low-income students, have been choosing not to purchase required textbooks due to financial constraints, while other students were getting their books weeks after classes started due to backordered books that were unavailable at the start of the semester. Faculty began tailoring their coursework to accommodate the growing number of unprepared students, and overall student success suffered.

"Those students were not particularly successful. We were teaching them bad habits and those bad habits were resulting in bad results," said Jason Pierce, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Information Services at Mars Hill University.

Rafter360's textbooks-in-tuition program provides students with all of their required course materials on day one of classes. A flat rate price that can save students over 50 percent in textbook costs is incorporated into tuition so the cost can be covered by financial aid, ensuring that all students have equal access to course materials.

"With Rafter360, books are part of the entire experience, just like a desk, a chair, internet connectivity, or the pool. It's about making sure that all students have everything they need to learn on day one so that we can ensure their opportunity for success from the beginning," said Pierce.

While there was some initial pushback from students who felt they could get their books more cheaply than the annual fee, after experiencing the fast, smooth pickup process, Pierce said, "The student conversation about their experiences has been almost universally positive. The experience of getting books has been an even bigger benefit than we could have anticipated. It's efficient. It's accurate. It's better than I expected it to be."

"By incorporating books into the overall university experience, schools take a huge step forward towards bolstering the success of students on their campuses, while providing both affordability and price predictability," said Sara Leoni, CEO of Rafter. "Rafter360 is the only product out there that provides an integrated experience that benefits students, faculty, administration, and bookstore managers. We're thrilled that Mars Hill University has had a positive experience with their implementation, and is now ready to see the program contribute to their retention and student success goals."

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

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