For millions of high school seniors, the next few weeks will be incredibly stressful as colleges across the nation are releasing their enrollment decisions. Eagerly, students wait to see if the hours of test-prep, expensive college visits, and endless essay writing will result in an acceptance to their dream school. Andrew Cramer, a student of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, identified the problem and decided to launch Campusselect.org to help fellow high-schoolers navigate through the process of finding the right college.
Travelling to a school is one way to learn more about a college, yet there are a few downsides to the campus visit. Visiting a school, whether it is a few hours away or on the other side of the country, can be very expensive and many families do not have the means to travel to every college on their list. For those that do, they may spend thousands of dollars and weeks of their time visiting colleges they know very little about in the first place.
Information sessions and campus tours only offer surface-level and often biased information. They are scripted and only share positive aspects of the school. After all, colleges are businesses: their main goal is to sell you. Standard visits run by the admissions office fail to show prospective students what it is really like to go to a certain school.
So how do you decide if a college would be the right place for you?
Talking to current students is the best way to truly decide which college would be the perfect fit. They can provide unfiltered, authentic and personalized information, share their experiences at the school, and answer your specific questions. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get in contact with current students at every college you are considering, especially those taking classes in your desired major.
CampusSelect (campusselect.org), a Philadelphia based startup, is working to alleviate this problem. The website connects high school students in the college process to current, compatible undergraduates at their desired schools through video chat. Starting at only $25, CampusSelect offers 30-minute and 1-hour video chats for colleges and universities all across the country. CampusSelect calls aim to help high school students develop their initial college list, enhance their essays/applications and learn more about their top choice schools. For students admitted to multiple colleges, CampusSelect will allow them to compare their college options in order to confirm their enrollment decision.
One-on-one conversations with like-minded undergraduates allow prospective students to get an insider’s perspective on the campus culture, nightlife, the admissions process, and even particular classes and majors. Dr. Erica Reischer’s article Skipping the College Tour further illustrates how talking to current college students can help significantly during the application process.