Students review colleges

By Megan Kutulis
October 16, 2008

Shannon Keough

College searching just got about 10 times easier. With the recent introduction of college review site, high school juniors and seniors will be able to access student feedback of their prospective schools. Besides being a pretty helpful tool, it means the world of college hunting has finally abandoned those back-breaking review books that were once synonymous with finding the perfect school.

Unigo, a Web site run by a small staff of men and women whose diplomas are still hot off the press, is one of the top college search Web sites, combining multimedia pieces like pictures, video and blogs to show a school’s true colors.

Besides being spearheaded by a group of young professionals, the Web site is completely student run. Unigo recruits students to detail life at their home away from home, and submissions depend solely on this participation.

Jordan Goldman, a 2004 Wesleyan graduate and Unigo’s creator, understands the need for student feedback, as opposed to the generic pictures and information parents and students alike are used to hearing.

“It really serves a purpose, or need, in the college resource market – being able to hear about college life from the students themselves. Moreover, Unigo also incorporates student-created photos and videos, really going a long way toward illustrating what life is like at a given school,” Goldman said.

Surprisingly, such a Web site has yet to be developed. Instead, students have hunched over thick books like the Princeton Review for years, learning more about the average GPA than the average amount of students who like to spend their Saturday nights doing keg stands.

Now, thanks to Goldman’s idea, high school students are getting the kind of feedback they’ve been looking for. A Duke University freshman tells us why she chose to become a Blue Devil. A University of Oklahoma alum dispels the myths surrounding Greek life. A Villanova student talks about his time as a business major.

Despite the overwhelming success of Unigo, some smaller schools, like Cabrini, haven’t been featured on the site. It’s no secret that Cabrini doesn’t have the national recognition that some of the other schools on the site do, but Goldman and his team of students and co-workers are on their way to representing the little guys, too.

“Right now, only students at featured launch schools are able to get registered and get involved, but before long, we’ll be adding more and more schools across the country so that more college students can get involved,” Goldman said.

Unigo’s founder also stresses that although his site aims to make life a little easier for high school juniors and seniors, college students should take advantage of what it has to offer, whether it be getting involved, or using it to unite and sound off on campus.

“The site is also a place for college students themselves to network around the content they and their peers have created. It can also be a platform for change; a place for college students to speak out about something they want changed at the school. If enough students complain about parking for instance, sooner or later the school is going to have to pay attention,” Goldman said.

Admissions ambassador and Cabrini senior Felicia Neuber thinks that sites like Unigo are long overdue.

“It’s a really good idea because it gives a student perspective of the college. Sure, with the other books you know the facts, but it’s the students that make the school,” she said.

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Megan Kutulis

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