Website reveals colleges
The ever-stressful question for high school seniors of where to go to college may have just gotten a little easier. Unigo.com, the world’s largest resource on 225 of America’s top colleges, made its public debut Sept. 17.
The website offers thousands of student reviews, videos, photos, and documents coordinated by 18 full-time editors, 300 on-campus interns, and more than 15,000 students. (Unigo.com) functions not merely as a website but also as an interactive community of college students who are all willing to communicate with high school students to provide information and offer advice.
Jordan Goldman, 26, founder and CEO of (Unigo.com), was unimpressed with the college guidebooks available to him when he was searching for a college, and wanted to make them better.
When he was 22 and graduated from Wesleyan, he created a series of 100 percent student-written college guidebooks called Students’ Guide to Colleges that was published in several editions by Penguin Books. A year after writing the Students’ Guide, Goldman realized the limitations of print guidebooks.
“Each college only got a small number of pages, with no photos, no videos, no interactivity. For a decision this important, that resource didn’t seem helpful enough,” Goldman said.
Goldman Google-searched “business plan” and made a basic plan for his idea. He then e-mailed the Wesleyan alumni network for funding.
A reply from Frank Sica, former president of Soros Private Funds Management, particularly struck Goldman.
Sica told Goldman that if he could convince him of his plan in just 30 minutes that he would be willing to invest in the project.
Goldman succeeded and with the Soros investment, the idea made great headway.
The editors and staff of Unigo have worked to make the website as easy to navigate as possible, citing complaints of students as to the complications of researching colleges online.
Carnegie Mellon students shared these complaints.
Hester Simons, a first-year history major, said that for her, the college process provided a mess of information that needed to be sorted out and properly researched to make choices. She said that certain individual college website resources were “hard to navigate and hard to use.”
Nancy Brown, a first-year history major, agreed. Brown spoke of the difficulty of finding the “exact information that [she] was looking for.”
In his website, Goldman strives to provide information not only clearly, but in a valuable form.
Goldman aims to give high school students and parents “more accurate, authentic, honest information than a book could provide.”
Goldman wants to let every college applicant see each college from the eyes of “someone who’s just like them,” essentially forming a virtual campus visit.
Although he started out with nothing more than a shaky idea, Goldman has founded a college resource that promotes communication between America’s 15 million college students and its 14 million high school students.