Less than full price

Two Ferris alumni turn an idea into reality

As a college student, you know the feeling too well. It’s a new semester with new classes, meaning you have to buy all new books. And, well…let’s be honest. You don’t have the money for new books.

Most of us have been at this point at least once throughout our college experience. Fortunately though, two Ferris alumni came up with an idea for a solution for next semester —CollegeGenius.net.

CollegeGenius.net is a free website specifically designed for college students to sell and buy items from others at their university.

“CollegeGenius.net has already been coined the ‘Craigslist for Students.’ It is our goal to help students save money on the everyday items they need for school,” Cole Strange, co-founder of CollegeGenius.net, said. “The students fill the site with the items they are looking to get rid of, and because it is free for students, we believe the students will embrace it.”

This website is not to sell, buy or exchange only books, but also other items such as furniture, electronics, bikes, cars, spirit wear and more. It’s also a place where students can look for employment opportunities posted by local businesses or carpool with college peers.

Because the website is specifically for college students, a university email is required. To start using the website, a student will simply enter which university they attend and create an account using basic information.

“Not to sound too boastful, but we are hoping that CollegeGenius.net will be the next big thing,” Strange said. “Because it is free to students and we are adding all these great features, it makes perfect sense that if a student needed anything for college, they would first go to CollegeGenius.net.”

In 2011, Strange graduated from Ferris with an associate of science degree. The co-founder and lead programmer for the company, Robert Tuck, also graduated from Ferris. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in 2000 and graduated with his master’s in computer information systems in 2002.

Their experiences at Ferris helped shape the idea for the company as well as gave them the confidence to try an idea such as this.

“My experience at Ferris allowed me to build up the knowledge base and connections with people, but most importantly the confidence to be able to chase after any ideas I put my mind to,” Strange said. “It’s the combination of inside and outside of the classroom that allowed me to develop [that confidence]. The experience of meeting and interacting with other highly motivated, driven college students was the fuel to my aspirations to be involved with an idea like this.”

The idea for CollegeGenius.net was initially thought of in 1995 after the now director of marketing for the company returned a $100 book to the bookstore, only receiving $15 back for it. Strange and the director of marketing revisited the concept years later, and in late 2011 with the help of Tuck, CollegeGenius.net was created.

Strange and other team members have high hopes for what CollegeGenius.net will eventually become. To find more information, visit