If you are a GCSE, A Level or degree student, you will be no stranger to the magical world of Facebook; and you will also be no stranger to the quick and convenient distraction that Facebook provide when you have that all important essay due in for a week. Day by day (surprisingly more frequent around exam time) the same old familiar Facebook statuses stream in… “Should really get on with some uni work” “exam in a week and I haven’t even opened a book”. That’s normally because clicking the refresh button on the news feed of Facebook is just too damn exciting to miss.
So it was somewhat of a surprise when the internet platform which encourages us to leave that all important essay to the night before (and I am not stereotyping, some people are definitely not as weak as me!) has just released an application which tells University and college applicants what their chances are of getting a place at certain colleges and universities.
As a second year university student myself, and a few of my friends applying to university this year, I am no stranger to the anxieties that applying to University brings. Startup Splash Networks wants to make selecting schools to send an application to easier. On Tuesday, the company is launching a Facebook app called AdmissionSplash that shows prospective college students how likely it is that they will be admitted to each school on their lists.
The application makes its decisions based their basic information: test scores, address, and other factors that affect admissions, like whether they volunteer or play sports. It then uses an algorithm to give users a desirability rating as well as the likelihood, ranging from “very poor” to “very good,” of getting into the schools. Admission Splash currently runs customized equations for about 1,500 schools that it developed using the admission data they release.
But AdmissionSplash’s equation, which definitely doesn’t take essays into account, has been pretty accurate in tests that use publicly available admissions profiles. In the case of UCLA, approximately 85% of students the app said would get admitted actually did.
But just how much of a good idea is this? Will this application give students false hope? Will they apply for colleges and universities that will just set them up for failure – or will it allow students the opportunity to reach for their goals and apply for colleges that they would never have applied too before?
I think the use of Facebook is a great way to target the desired audience that may be confused about what university or college they want to attend, or are trying to make the difficult decision of whether to attend university at all. I think the application will be a great source of information about the schools available to them and to rate the schools competitiveness. Whether it will be the way for college students to know whether they have a chance of being accepted into a college… only time will tell.