Our Fresh New Look Is Here

I don’t want to come off as defending the new format (I have most of the same complaints that have been mentioned over and over), but I’m honestly puzzled by the many posters that are saying they can’t find particular forums. I wonder if we are not all seeing the same thing?

I’ve used 3 different devices with 3 different browsers (a desktop, a tablet, and a very small iPhone), and on all of them, on the main forum page (talk.collegeconfidential.com), if you scroll down (more on some devices than others), you’ll eventually see “Discussion Forums” followed by 4 categories. Those are the same categories we had on the old layout, they just aren’t expanded - you have to pick one and click on it. So under, say, “College Admissions and Search” we still have (as far as I can tell) all the topics we had before - financial aid, college life, alpha list of colleges, parents, etc.) Do some platforms not have that?

In addition, on some platforms (I think not the phone), either to the right or below that, there’s also a list with links to the most popular topics. Alpha list of colleges and Parents Forum/Cafe are on there as well.

Again, not a fan of the new format, but I don’t seem to be missing some of the things that other folks are.


I was initially LOST. I was looking & looking for “Forums”. I thought I had the page but then I did not see where to go next. I suspect others had a similar experiences.

It says “Discussion Topics”, not “Discussion Forums”. For you, it was intuitive to click on, and explore those boxes (links).

For me, I was stuck & lost. I eventually found my way, but for many, the path has not been direct nor intuitive. Things are just not laid out where some expect them to be. Clearly this varies user to user.

I’m more content on the new desktop version. Mobile is unpleasant, for me.

Several pages back someone alluded to corporate issues within Hobsons. I Googled to see what was happening but could only find Glassdoor complaints. Can anyone elaborate as to what is happening with the parent company?

If you look under “activity” under latest post,Roger Dooley just got his second year badge.

Until just now I thought Hobson’s was a guy lol

Roger Dooley is the owner and board chair of CC. Sadly, not the case. My partners and I sold the business in 2008 to Hobsons, part of the UK's Daily Mail Group. For a few years, I served there as VP of Digital Marketing and had CC as part of my responsibility. Over time, my role transitioned to that of a consultant.


During the latter period, the existing CC software, an older and heavily modified version of vBulletin, was in need of a major upgrade for security and user experience reasons. I was inclined to get current with vBulletin and continually add/change features to optimize it for CC’s mission. (A few may remember our custom-coded “visit reports” feature - it still survives here, sort of.)

Eventually, management decided to outsource the CC forum to a software company that handled hosting, development, security and software updates, etc. To be fair to the managers who made that decision, the software provider promised to implement specific features after the conversion that were on the list but couldn’t be finished in time. They also promised to support custom modifications in the future.

Unfortunately, after the conversion, the user experience became mostly frozen in time. Even small modifications were incredibly expensive and often couldn’t even be scheduled. Hobsons had capable developers, but they couldn’t touch the code any more. Nor could the forum admins change much with the limited control panel. The forum “worked” but couldn’t continuously evolve and improve to meet the needs of the CC community.

Due to changing priorities in its core business, in 2016 Hobsons sold CC to Road Trip Nation. Now, apparently, CC is part of the Strada Education Network. I’ve had no input at all in the post-Hobsons era.

An optimistic view: When a change in a forum layout can generate more than a thousand angry posts in a short time, it means that people still care. :slight_smile: And, there’s continuity from CC’s earliest days with @DaveBerry and @SallyRubenstone still contributing, not to mention many dedicated members who have been helping those new to the college process for many years. That CC has survived since 2001 testifies to the value it delivers. Keep up the good work, everyone!

@rodger_dooley. Thank you for that very informative post. It explains a lot.

@Roger_Dooley thank you for your reply. I didn’t know that Hobsons sold CC. Did they also sell Naviance?

Sure enough, CC is listed as an affiliate of Strata Education Network http://www.stradaeducation.org/affiliates/

Interesting that Road Trip Nation is connected to CC. It looks like they are partnering with universities on some shows. https://roadtripnation.com/roadtrip/uci

Thanks, @Roger_Dooley. Wilhe it explains a lot, sadly it seems to indicate that we are stuck with this new, dreadful format, which is the kiss of death for “the way we were”.

Thank you, @Roger_Dooley, for taking the time to give us an idea about what’s going on. Had the new owners done that the tone of this thread probably would have been very different.

Interesting. I just tried to DM @stradaeducation on their Twitter page. Error message : “You cannot message this account.”

Guess they don’t want to hear any feedback??

Thanks for the update, Roger. But I think you are overly optimistic about experienced users continuing to provide content on a format that is pretty much unusable on mobile. Guess we should be Twitter bombing Strada with complaints, since they give no feedback on this thread. #YouBrokeCCNowFixIt seems like an appropriate hashtag.

And it explains a little more about the owner’s motivation. Are they interested in keeping CC discussions going or merely in grabbing past info and data? Road Trip Nation shows probably generate a lot more advertising money than this site does. Do they care about the date that something was posted or are they looking for member statuses and user names? Is the top banner a list of what they use for their data mining?

How long will they keep CC before they sell it to the next entity who wants access to the wealth of information posted on this site?

@Roger_Dooley Thanks for the post. It must be disappointing for you to see your “baby” be run the way it is. As frustrating as it is, glad to be part of the volunteer team to keep this going. It’s a good site and provides valuable free advice to many students who wouldn’t have access to information important to navigating the increasingly complex college admission process (whether it being a first gen, urm, or student who cannot afford a private counselor). This clears up a lot and hopefully this new company takes a look, listens, and at least considers the feedback from its dedicated users. They should consider a statement like you just put out. Happy 4th.

Road Trip Nation acquires College Confidential - Article from May 2018.

And hence the Princeton Review never ending video.

Maybe letting Princeton review see this forum of disgust would set things in motion. Don’t think they would want to be associated with something so negative.

Given Princeton Review’s past experience in the college discussion world, this should be an interesting ride…

Anyone know which members work for Princeton Review?

Headed over to Reddit. Glad to see so many re-creating their screen handles over there.

So now we’re shills for P Review?

Guess what’s back? The spam popups.