To the year 2003.
(For those of you who can't think back that far, here's a refresher: Justin Timberlake had just released his 1st album, skinny jeans weren't in fashion, and everyone was sure Bush was months away from being kicked out of office.)
I won't bore you with the details of my obsessive-compulsive college search habits (I mean, hasn't everyone had their guidance counselor file a restraining order against them once or twice?)
The important thing to note is how well-prepared I was to navigate the maddening world of college applications, scholarship deadlines, school visits and alumni interviews. I credit a lot of my preparation to my older sister. Having been through it before (and done well enough to go to Princeton, no less), she had a really strong grasp on what it would take to turn me into the essay-writing, SAT-killing, future-billionaire I was destined to be. What a lot of people don't know is, I wouldn't have even *applied* to Harvard if it hadn't been for Lauren. And look at me now! I'm practically swimming in Alumni-of-the-Year Awards.
|I was going to put a pic of Harvard here, but they frown upon non-approved uses of their image. Even from their most esteemed alumni, which I clearly am.|
The fact that one suggestion from my sister changed the course of my life considerably got me thinking: what do the people without an amazing big sister (or mother/father/mentor) do? I suspect most of them end up applying based on things like proximity, tuition requirements, and their friends. And while all of these are perfectly fine considerations, they're certainly not the only considerations. I would argue that they're not even the most important ones.
What if someone had stepped in at the beginning of senior year, and told one of those 17 year olds "Hey, you've got great grades and you're interested in computer science. Have you ever considered the University of Texas? Their CS program is ranked top ten, and they give out thousands of dollars in scholarships to budding programmers."
Well this idea aims to fill in that gap: a website for college seniors that provides school recommendations based on the student's GPA, interests, test scores and extracurriculars.
Let's call it: findmyschool.com
Findmyschool.com would act as a mentor to all of the college seniors out there in need of a little extra guidance. Students would give us their stats, and we'd give them a top-ten list, separated into "safety, fit, and aspirational" schools.
The list would contain a link to each school's website, so the students could browse their options easily. There'd also be a "compare schools" tab, that would allow them to do side-by-side comparisons of their top choices.
|Make the right choice. (PS Harvard please don't sue me)|
Once the students made their decisions about which schools to apply to, they'd plug in their choices and be given instant access to a "Deadline Calendar," which would clearly mark application deadlines, scholarship deadlines, FAFSA requirements, Prospective Student events, and so on.
How would it make money:
....Well...I'm still working on that part. My first thought was to have Universities pay a small fee when students apply via my site. I see that being problematic, however, because I imagine top-tier colleges may feel that paying for applicants is beneath them. I could also charge students to access the site, but I don't really see that being feasible either. So basically...I'm still working on it.
If you have comments or suggestions (especially concerning potential revenue streams...), holler back.