College Admissions Forum Becomes High Growth Online Community, Logs Million Messages in Nine Months

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College Confidential's web community has become a leading destination for parents and students seeking college admissions help. Launched in 2001, the discussion forum logged a million new messages just since its redesign in late 2004. Now some colleges and universities are designating official representatives to participate in the discussion.

College Confidential's web community has become a leading destination for parents and students seeking college admissions help. Launched in 2001, the discussion forum logged a million new messages just since its redesign in late 2004. Now some colleges and universities are designating official representatives to participate in the discussion.

College Confidential, a leading college admissions web resource for students and parents, is also home of the premier college discussion forum on the web. The forum, a popular destination for college-bound families since 2001, logged more than a million messages just since its redesign in late 2004.

Community architect and College Confidential co-founder Roger Dooley is pleased by the rapid growth of the web community. “For some colleges, our forum has changed the nature of ‘prospective weekends’ and freshman ‘move-in day,’” says Dooley. Instead of a group of strangers arriving from all over the country, these events now become “reunions” of students who have known each other online for months.

One example of a popular college forum is the Princeton community at College Confidential, which has garnered nearly 50,000 messages during the last admissions season.

Much of the discussion centers on admission to Ivy League schools and similar elite colleges, but over 400 colleges and universities have their own communities at College Confidential. “We welcome students and parents with diverse interests. Not every student aspires to Harvard; and our community is a great place to learn about colleges that aren’t household names. We’ve even set up special forums for groups like aspiring musical theater students and pre-med applicants.” Other popular topics of discussion include SAT preparation, college search, and life at college.

Dooley states, “Our overall community changes organically. As we see members coalescing around a topic, we may create a new community with that focus. For example, we’ve just added a forum for parents of students applying to the U. S. service academies.”

Colleges and universities are taking note. Several, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), New York University, and Carnegie Mellon University have designated “College Rep” members in the College Confidential forum. Students and parents know that answers from these specially designated members will be reliable and accurate.

To keep pace with the demands of the College Confidential online community, the server capacity has been increased several times. “We’ve more than doubled our server capacity in anticipation of a busy fall and spring,” says Dooley. Keeping the web community going takes time and money, but Dooley says the knowledge that many students and parents are helped makes it worthwhile. Often, knowledge about out-of-state schools and the key factors in the college admissions process is limited in a student's high school. “We’ve had countless messages from both students and their parents describing how much the student’s college process was helped by our forum. That keeps our motivation level high.” College Confidential provides the forum as a free service to students and parents.

College Confidential is the leading provider of web-based college counseling services, specializing in Ivy League admissions with clients in all parts of the United States and worldwide. College Confidential also provides outsourced college counseling for high schools seeking to improve college acceptance rates, and operates the leading college discussion forum on the Web. College guidance efforts are led by Dave Berry, Director of Counseling and co-author of America’s Elite Colleges, and Sally Rubenstone, Senior Counselor and co-author of The Panicked Parents Guide to College Admissions. The College Confidential website includes many free resources for college-bound students and their parents, including reviews of college admissions books, articles about the college process, and the popular Ask the Dean college advice-column.

College Confidential is a registered trademark of CollegeConfidential.com, Inc.

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