Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Raygun launches new website exposing textbook costs

Raygun (, a new website, recently launched to the public with something never done before — detailed reports that show students whether they need a current edition of a textbook or can get the same information out of a previous edition, avoiding unnecessary spending and saving up to 95 percent in textbook costs. 

The exorbitant cost of textbooks significantly contributes to the burgeoning state of student debt. Raygun estimates that students entering college will have to pay $81.30 per month for 5 years simply to pay for textbooks. A chain of price gouging starts with the publisher and ends with the bookstore, which commands a profit margin akin to what cigarette makers and Healthcare REITs enjoy. Raygun is breaking that chain by providing students with the information and transparency they need to stop paying for new, overpriced textbooks and still have the books they need to excel in school. Raygun exposes the differences (or lack thereof) between new and previous editions of widely used college textbooks in their C.L.O.N.E. Reports. 

New textbooks are carefully compared to their cheaper, previous edition counterparts for any differences in content, figures, and problem sets. C.L.O.N.E. Reports track if there are any discrepancies and, if there are, provide links to the new concepts and content online. Founders Aaron Priest and Adam Seithel, recent grad school students themselves, truly believe in higher education and founded Raygun as a way to bring college costs down. Adam and Aaron firmly believe that students can buy an older edition of a textbook, with a C.L.O.N.E. Report, and do as well academically as students who buy new editions. 

“Higher-education in the U.S. isn't affordable anymore,” said Raygun co-founder Adam Seithel. “And the textbook market is broken, at best, and predatory at worst. Higher-education has taken the focus away from the most important element – the student. At Raygun, we are empowering students to make informed decisions when purchasing their textbooks. An informed student base will have the best chance at shifting the market away from these outrageous prices. The best part is, we can make these changes today.”

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