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Suggestions for enhancements

tbbbnbabtbbbnbab Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited January 2014 in SuperMatch Search Tool

Love the site...it's a great resource. Here are a few things which would be helpful enhancements based on my experience with the site:

1. Tuition: having a "range" bar would be better than just an upper limit. I would want to have a lower limit as well.
2. Graduation Rate: being able to select a desired graduation rates (>90%, >80%, >70%, etc.) would be more useful than just saying "yes" to "most students graduate"
3. Sports: Defining your interest in sports should include interest/lack of interest in intercollegiate and intramural sports, as well as an overall interest/lack of interest in a "sports culture". For some, a strong sports culture is a must; for others, it's a turn-off. This could be rated in the same way you might express interest in a party school or liberal-leaning school.
4. Greek Life: There is a lot of room on the spectrum between "wanting to join a frat" and "I don't want to go to a school with Greek Life". Can this be measured in a slider from "Strong Greek Life" to "No Greek Life"? Another approach could be indicating what percentage of the student body is in a frat/sorority as an indication of Greek presence in school life.
5. Liberal Leaning: Once again, a slider representing the political spectrum would be helpful, giving the user a chance to express avoidance, as well as preference, of a particular political culture.
6. Party Scene: Another case of a wide spectrum. A slider would work well here.
7. Possible New Field: "Proximity to Major City". Students may prefer a small town setting for their campus, but won't want to be 5 hours away from "civilization" (think of Whitman College in WA). Alternatively, some students may want to be away from the influence of a major urban area. This could be a nice enhancement to the "Location" and "Campus Setting" attributes.

Those are my thoughts...keep up the good work!
Post edited by tbbbnbab on

Replies to: Suggestions for enhancements

  • tbbbnbabtbbbnbab Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    I've been looking at some of the past suggestions made by other users (lots of good feedback) over the past two years, and even though the moderator from the Development Team thought these were great ideas, I am surprised that several suggestions have not been implemented, even two years later. The best example of this is the "Conservative School" selection to complement the "Liberal Leaning" selection already on the tool. This has been suggested by several users over the past two years, and I would think this would be an important enhancement and easy to add (I'm no programmer, but...). Why wouldn't this low hanging fruit be part of the tool by now?

    I totally understand that you have to choose between multiple enhancement ideas/projects...you can't work on everything. However, perhaps letting the user community rate or score the value of possible enhancements and existing functionality would give you some valuable input and help you decide how to allocate your programming resources. A quick SurveyMonkey emailed to your list of registered users would give you plenty of feedback. Your users are intensely interested in this process, and appreciate the value of your tool, so I'm guessing your response rate will be BIG.
  • Chesh1Chesh1 Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    Hi "tbbbnbab",
    Thanks for all the well thought out feedback. I'll pass along to the rest of the team that makes decisions for SuperMatch. Also, I completely understand your concerns that suggestions are not being quickly implemented. Some of the reasons for that are
    - we do not always have the data necessary to do what is suggested. This is a huge factor.
    - we've been busy working on other major enhancements, like the ability to share and save searches, to compare schools side by side, and getting the tool integrated into other sites/products so that more users have access to it.
    - SuperMatch is not all we do here, so of course we're constantly juggling priorities.

    However, I'll ensure our team sees your feedback and start the discussion of how we find ways to implement some of this wonderful feedback.
  • zobrowardzobroward Registered User Posts: 3,473 Senior Member
    freshman retention rate could be listed too
    like 96-100 extremely high
    90-95 very high
    83-89 above avg
    75-82 avg etc... this is really important to see a school true colors behind the rep.
  • medavincimedavinci Registered User Posts: 174 Junior Member
    I tried pulling up schools with a major I'm interested in and keyed in my scores and gpa, however, none of the ones that i've had contact with and have shown interest, appeared. Also, when you key in a college and want to pin it, the college won't come up. I've tried clearing the list that it gave me for the major I'm interested in, and then keyed in a school I want to pin, but it still won't pull it up. Am I doing something wrong?
  • Chesh1Chesh1 Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    Thanks for the feedback medavinci! Without specifics, it's impossible for me to describe exactly why this is happening, but I'll take a shot.
    a. If you just enter one major and tour scores, it could be that you are not seeing schools in which you are interested because there are far more 100% matches than fit within your selected page size. Maybe bump your page size from the default of 20 schools to the max value and see if they show up. It could also be due to the fact that 1500 majors in SuperMatch (we get the list from the US Dept of Educ.) and any one major may have several other majors that are very similar, but have different wordings, so maybe if you also select those majors of similar wording, the schools will now show up in the results.

    b. not sure what problem you are having with the "Find & Pin a School by Name" functionality, but it seems to be working fine to me. If you can give more details, that would be great.
  • mmmgirlmmmgirl Registered User Posts: 933 Member
    I think the cost section definitely needs to be improved. Basically now you can choose the price your family can pay per year, and it suggests colleges at that price. However, paying for college is way more complicated than the sticker price, because a school that costs 50K might give enough financial aid to cost less than a school with a sticker price of 20K. You should be able to check a box if you want schools that are known for giving good need based aid, or a box for schools that would give merit aid to a student with the given stats, or a spectrum of how many loans you'd be willing to take out. This is badly needed, no other search tools have this.
  • guidedogguidedog Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    No doubt someone has already suggested this but as a guidance counselor I'll add on that a choice for schools strong in supporting learning differences would be a nice addition.
  • Chesh1Chesh1 Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    Thanks for the feedback. We're working to get data about school services for the learning disabled now. We should have that option in SuperMatch later this year.
  • MaryMac15535MaryMac15535 Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    I totally agree, Mmmgirl! My mom & dad are already putting my older brother through the University of Illinois, and Dad insists that I should only apply to schools with really good financial aid (which for him=max. $10,000 for everything, BEFORE any student loans are factored in). Thus, Mom's fallen in love with the Net Price Calculator at each school's website, and "crunches the numbers" for EVERY college which claims to have a "no-loans" policy, plus every one which emails or snail-mails us.
    The "how generous is the financial aid?" question is the most important, at least for my parents; everything else for them would just be a sorting mechanism for the leading candidates by financial aid offered.
  • Chesh1Chesh1 Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    mmmgirl (sorry I missed your post until now) and MaryMac15535, that's great feedback. We finally have access to data regarding the financial aid typical available to students of each school, so very soon we will be pulling this information into SuperMatch and figuring out how best to use it within the search capability.
  • exstudentexstudent Registered User Posts: 172 Junior Member
    I think SuperMatch is a pretty good tool, better than anything else out there, in my view. But of course there's always room for improvement, so here's a thought.

    It would be great to have a Reach/Match/LowMatch search -- there isn't anything that quite does it right now.

    This selector allows you to say "I want only schools where everything matches but I'm a bit below average, but not out of range", i.e., "reach" schools. Or "I want only schools where I'm in the middle band or a bit higher" i.e., "match" schools. And finally, "I want only schools where I'd be in the top 20% of the admitted pool", i.e., "LowMatch" schools.

    I was doing this sort of search with my son when he was selecting his starting list, and I can tell you that it was much harder to compile and prune than it should have been.

    I'd expect that many others would find this feature quite useful, so I submit it for your consideration.

  • Chesh1Chesh1 Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    Thanks for the praise and feedback! We've toyed with the idea of the safe/match/reach concept before, but never figured out exactly how we wanted to implement it. I'll forward your suggestion to the CC team to re-energize that discussion.
  • larkowllarkowl Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    The entry for the University of Chicago lists its size as 15,152. However, this figure includes the graduate students. The number of undergraduates is 5,270 -- which is the number found on the UChicago Profile on your site. But the original incorrect number affects the SuperMatch College Search results.
  • Chesh1Chesh1 Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    Thanks for the feedback. We've heard that complaint before, but someone posts a reply saying "please don't change it, as I like that it includes the grad students." We chose to include all students, not just undergrad, as it is a better representation of how many students are on campus during the day, how big the campus is, etc. If we published UofChicago as only 5000 students, that might mislead users to think it's much smaller than it is. Anyway, we get feedback both ways. So, we plan an enhancement for the future where you'll be able to choose whether you want to look at just undergrad or all students and also a look at how many live on campus. Hopefully the result will make both sides of that debate happy :)
    Thanks again!
  • stevec3h8stevec3h8 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    To the development team for SuperMatch, you guys are awesome! I've been in development for many years and I've found your site to be easy to use and extremely helpful in the college search for my daughter. A couple of enhancements I would love to see:

    1. Some colleges do not accept high school AP (Advanced Placement) tests for testing out of college classes. It would be great to have a filter that includes or excludes these colleges/universities.

    2. I like the comparison of "pinned" schools. I would be great if you could allow an export of that tabular data to Excel. I would like to rank and sort the schools on different criteria and it would be very helpful to have it in Excel.

    Keep up the good work!
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