The search for the right college is about finding the perfect fit. Prospective students often tour colleges in hopes of making the right decision. For schools that are too far to visit, a new Web site gives students an inside look of campuses across the nation.
Unigo.com is an online college guidebook that features reviews, videos and photos to assist students in learning about schools.
The Web site launched in September with reviews for 225 colleges. Unigo.com provides its users with responses from students currently enrolled in colleges and universities. Current students rate schools on topics such as professor accessibility, sports, campus social life and dormitories.
A profile on Temple is listed on unigo.com. A student who posted on the site praised the university for its diverse student body and Main Campus’ friendly and vibrant atmosphere.
Another student wrote, “Temple is a melting pot – all different styles, ages, races, beliefs and affiliations. The students and professors are quite diverse and sometimes make for an interesting experience.”
Complaints about the university’s off-campus housing policy were also posted. Many students complained about the hassle of moving off campus for their junior years. They criticized the university for failing to meet the housing needs of upperclassmen. Students also shared their disdain about the frequency of crime in North Philadelphia.
Unigo.com encourages users to share their opinions, rather than having prospective students learning from colleges’ and universities’ Web sites or brochures.
“The problem is that a school tries to market itself to everybody and what that means is that they’re boarding the experience of what happens at that school,” said Jessica Gross, an editor at unigo.com. “The concept of Unigo is that instead of just getting the general idea the school puts out about why it’s great for everybody, you can see if it’s a good fit for you as an individual.”
Site visitors can see how many students from their high school attend a particular college. The site also includes advice ranging from how to pay for college to how to cram for a test.
“I wish I’d known about a site like this. It probably would have helped me in my choice of colleges,” said Brianna D’Florence, a freshman art history major. “The students give you all the hidden little gems the school doesn’t tell you.”
Unigo.com does not restrict what users can post, but the site’s editors do remove overtly offensive postings.
“We’re hoping that colleges will embrace the idea of letting students have a voice and talk about not only what they like, but also what they dislike,” Gross said. “If a lot of students are complaining about something, than it’s a great thing for a school to know and hopefully act on it.”
Director of Admissions Karin West Mormando said she “felt genuinely positive” about what students posted on unigo.com.
“I would hope that one negative comment wouldn’t paint a whole perspective of the university experience.”
Erika Ransom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.