Ci Engage

Connecting students and colleges is a lot like online dating. It’s all about a good match!

Dating and College Search – More Similar Than You Think

People have been using dating apps for a long time to make lasting connections with people. Dating app users create a profile with their interests and preferences, automatically match with individuals that fit their criteria and chat with them before they ultimately decide whether to meet in person. And hopefully romance blossoms from there. The college search experience is a lot like dating if you think about it, except in this case students are looking for the right college. So why not create a similar experience for those seeking out their perfect college match?

Imagine an app where students can quickly filter, search and explore college profiles, and “heart” a favorite school. Where they share their personal profile with colleges they are interested in, reach out via a chat tool and ask questions instead of having to go through a form and wait for someone to call them back. Maybe it’s “love at first sight” or in this case a perfect match based on the interests, career goals, and campus criteria.  Colleges have certain match criteria too! The information they would receive would help them pre-screen students and more easily identify students that they want to actively recruit.

Searching for the Perfect Match

Finding the right college or university can be a daunting task for any young adult. There are so many options, and so many criteria beyond course and program selection that a student or their parents might be considering when picking the school that is right for them. Student population, cost, location, athletic programs, weather, food options, extracurricular, fraternities, and many more. Traditionally, doing all of this has required a lot of research and many various resources, from on line, to books, to campus visits, attending fairs and more. Imagine if you could search through dozens, even hundreds of potential good matches, get the information you need quickly and make a connection instantly using an app!

And it’s not just students, colleges have a similar challenge. They too need to find their ideal students. Colleges are all unique providing both curriculum and a student experience that is right for some students, but not all based on their aspirations. How do higher ed institutions reach out to find the students they feel are the right fit or a “perfect match” for their institution?

Currently they employ a relatively uninformed and inefficient process to do their “student search”. They purchase large lists of student names and email addresses based on some academic credential such as SAT or ACT score. Then they blast out email or direct mailers with information about their school to this audience. They have no idea if their institution a good match for the student with this process. All they know is their test scores, grades, and where they live. Not much else.

Colleges don’t have enough data points to determine if a student is a ‘match’ until a student decides to take the next step. Often they don’t have quality information about the student until they complete an interview or submit an application which is late in the student’s selection process. At that point the student has already narrowed down their top choices. If colleges could get insight earlier and interact with students earlier in the process they would be able to attract and match with qualified students that otherwise may have looked elsewhere.

A Dating App for Students and Colleges

Dating apps have successfully figured out a way to streamline and digitalize the process of meeting people. Why not employ the same app experience to meet and connect with the college or students that are right for you?

College Interactive has taken a similar approach to the college search and student recruiting process with a mobile app experience. It enables the “search and choice” process, both for the college and the student, to take place in an app. Much like a dating app, students create a rich profile with their interests and college preferences (size, location, curriculum, sports, etc.), the app automatically matches them with schools that fit their criteria. Students can use the app to research their picks, favorite colleges and chat with colleges through the app. And, a good match means a lot of positive things. A student can pre-qualify their choice before taking the next step to visit or apply. A college can pre-qualify the candidate and make sure this is the right candidate for them as via the app.

Insight and Interaction Yield More Successful Matches

The Ci app offers many far-reaching benefits for both the student and college. If a student who began as a good match applies and enrolls there is a much higher probability that the student will enjoy the experience, excel and succeed. And remain at that school through graduation. Its like a relationship lasting past the third date. 90% of new relationships don’t make it past the first month. 50% of students who enroll at a college don’t graduate from that college.

Why? Because it wasn’t a great match in the first place. Too many students wind up choosing a college for the wrong reasons. For example:

  • They don’t know what their options are, or have little or no help or guidance at school or in their home.
  • Belief that certain colleges are only for the wealthy.
  • Applying to the wrong schools that don’t match their goals
  • Only applying to schools within a small geographic distance from home.

The Ci app helps takes the guesswork out of college search and allows both students and colleges to make more informed decisions that lead to sound choices and lasting relationships.

Learn more about how College Interactive can help your college or university student search program attract more qualified candidates.