A new ed-tech startup hopes to be Cupid’s arrow for talented students and unique universities.
Up to now, the impetus to get the best and most well-prepared high schoolers into the best colleges in the U.S. has largely fallen on high school counselors, with their varied resources, and colleges themselves, which seem mostly interested in developing an ever-larger base of applicants that may or may not be a good fit. Technology thus far hasn’t played much of a role in mediating the relationship between schools and applicants – indeed, little but a barrage of exams, credential systems and further complications seems to help guide students down a more meaningful path. Reachey, launching April 1st, is an ed-tech startup that hopes to shake up the existing models for college discovery.
Today’s system is characterized by an overwhelming, stressful onus on the student to pay off their debt that has been caused, in part, by an insufficiently direct pipeline from education to employment. “We want to change the way high school students interact with universities by enabling colleges to reach out directly to students based on their achievements, interests, and preferences,” says founder George Kurdin. The idea is that each student has unique qualities that they can showcase themselves, attracting direct outreach from colleges with unique programs. Today’s model, says Kurdin, “is a push model (students push apps to schools and the burden of search is on students). We propose a pull model (schools pick the students). This model worked for [the] professional search, dating and now photo sharing (povio.com).”
Kurdin is in talks with several high-caliber universities for a pilot of the program, a significant goal of which is to save colleges expenditures that students often end up subsidize through high tuition costs. It can cost $1,750 for an admissions committee to recruit just one student. Reachey will provide more fine-grained outreach techniques than the current metric-based ones, which take on the form of large, expensive blasts of advertising.
Though details remain scarce until the site’s launch, the idea of presenting students with possible matches has no direct equal in the college-admissions market. “We definitely want this… there is currently no way to get a holistic view of a kid,” a former admissions officer at a top 30 university told Kurdin.