Dec 17 2014

New App Takes a Mobile Matchmaking Approach to College Applications

College Match seeks to take the stress out of the application process.

The popular matchmaking app Tinder uses mobile technology to help create a dream couple. Now, a new app from ApplyKit is helping to pair students with their dream colleges.

Choosing the right college can be stressful. Attending a four-year institution has become a huge financial investment, but decisions are often made without weighing all available options.

Bobby Touran, ApplyKit’s founder and CEO, wants to take the stress out of the application process. In December, his team launched College Match, a free college-matchmaking app that also serves as an application management tool, with checklists and reminders for upcoming deadlines.

The magic behind the matchmaking process begins with a slideshow of the towns, campus lifestyles and academic goals of several colleges. The app asks users to rate each slide on how the depiction fits in with their visions of collegiate life. Using that feedback along with a user’s stated GPA, SAT and ACT scores, the app creates an “academic resume” and a list of recommended institutions.

“With this information, we can calculate your chances of getting into your dream school, offer customized help to close any gaps in your resume and help you boost your chances of admission,” according to the app.

Months before College Match launched, the work being done at ApplyKit caught the attention of officials at the White House and the U.S. Department of Education, who invited Touran to Education Datapalooza in January 2014. The event gathered more than 500 entrepreneurs, educators and software developers to generate ideas for making postsecondary education more accessible. Also in attendance were representatives of Chegg and Noodle, two companies that ended up partnering with ApplyKit.

ApplyKit’s recommendations are based on data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), according to the New Hampshire Business Review. IPEDS is the collegiate arm of the National Center for Education Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Education, and is responsible for storing data from a series of surveys from every educational institution that participates in federal student aid programs.

The iOS version of College Match can be downloaded for free from the iTunes App Store.