Connected to Accepted: CollegeFindMe Helps College Admissions Offices and Students Find the Right Fit
Millions of students spend hours and hours each year stressing, researching, and studying to answer one single question: “Where will I go to college?”
We’re all familiar with the college prep world from the student’s perspective, but what about the admissions offices? What must they do to get the right students enrolled at their school?
CollegeFindMe, a global platform connecting college admissions with student applicants, hopes to fill this need. To learn more about the company, we interviewed founder Christina Bai about the company’s mission, their product, and how it all began.
Company at a Glance
Company name: CollegeFindMe
Founded: October 2014
Founder: Christina Bai
Company market segment: Higher Ed
Product stage: Seed
Interview with Christina Bai, founder of CollegeFindMe
What does your company do?
We created an interactive platform that facilitates the connection between college admissions and student applicants. Through this platform, students and their credentials are presented to college admissions officers.
In turn, admissions officers can search a large pool of student candidates online. This saves the school up to 90% of the typical recruitment cost.
Through the platform, qualified students can receive “offers” from colleges including fee waivers, invitations to visit their campus, scholarships, and even pre-admission offers.
How did you come across the problem you’re addressing? What was your process of arriving at a solution?
I am also the founder of a Boston-based education consulting company called MeBo. MeBo guides international students to come to study in the U.S., and the company builds relationships with colleges.
During the process of working with colleges, I realized that most small/mid-size colleges have an enrollment problem. They spend too much time and money in their effort to enroll the best students for their college. Admission officers estimate they spend more than 4 months a year traveling to visit schools and attend college fairs in different states, while schools spend an average of over 1 million dollars on the entire process.
However, the return on investment is quite small. I realized that a website could help solve this problem, and be extremely helpful for both colleges and students.
My research then showed that while many websites focus on college searching and matching, there wasn’t any website focusing 100% on providing the comprehensive service we offer to help colleges solve their enrollment problem more efficiently. That line of thought was the foundation of CollegeFindMe.com, which is now an elaborate platform connecting college admission officers and student applicants that best fit their admission criteria.
What are you doing differently than your competitors? Do you expect to develop other differentiators in the future?
As I mentioned before, our product focuses on college admissions searching qualified students online. This functionality is unique. Our goal is to make CollegeFindMe.com a one-stop tool for the overall college enrollment process combining services for student candidates, school counselors, and admission officers.
What should we expect to see from your company in the next 12 months?
We are building a larger team of professionals with talent, ambition, passion and dreams. We estimate to start generating revenue in the first quarter of 2017.
How are you changing the face of education?
Our product focuses on the transition period from high school to college, one of the most critical times for every student seeking a college education. We plan to change the current college enrollment paradigm from a traditional “travel and visiting” model to an online “full-service” platform that will make admissions officers work more efficiently, while saving schools large amounts of money in the process.
As I mentioned before, our goal is to make CollegeFindMe.com a robust, one-stop tool for the overall college enrollment process combining services for student candidates, school counselors, and admissions officers.
Where do you think the education technology market is going in the next five years, especially in your market segment?
This is a great question. The edtech market is undergoing a period of big changes, a revolution. Technologies like ours are very much needed to increase the efficiency of the college enrollment process at all levels.
A Texan by birth but a Bostonian at heart, Hannah is an educational writer, AmeriCorps alum, and one-time StartupWeekend EDU (SWEDU) winning team member. She started her career at a Pearson-incubated edtech startup, but has since covered travel, food & culture, and even stonemasonry in addition to education.