Student designs college website
The college application process is exhausting: the long string of college tours, applications, supplemental essays and interviews is a hallmark of any college-bound senior's final year of high school. And the marathon isn't over when the acceptance letters arrive. After gaining admission to colleges, students must decide which school to attend based on what little information they can collect about the institutions.
This process could get just a little bit easier when Dan Hussey '13 and Ted Worcester, a student at Wheaton College, launch their forthcoming website: liberalartscolleges.com.
The pair purchased the web domain when they were seniors at Waterville Senior High School. Unlike several other domains they purchased and sold, they held onto it with the intention of creating a web resource for students interested in attending liberal arts colleges.
"Think of us as liberal arts evangelists. We want to attract far-flung westerners and mid-westerners to the liberal arts goldmine that is the Northeast," Worcester said.
The website will feature detailed profiles of approximately 30 liberal arts colleges, said profiles will contain both written information about the schools and virtual tours of the campuses. The video tours could serve as a valuable resource for prospective students who live far away from the colleges and who may be unable to visit the campuses in person. In addition, the website will offer its visitors an opportunity to expand their social networks.
"The idea is that each user has a profile page on the site where they kind of show off who they are," Hussey said.
When students on the site browse through the colleges, their results will display a list of people who are looking at the same schools. This feature "will allow for like-minded individuals to connect and trade advice and share their experiences at different schools," Hussey said.
The opportunities for connections with other prospective students don't end there.
"Once our users get accepted to a school, they can continue to give input about the school, and post-graduation, they can talk further about what the school has done for them," Hussey said.
The pair is working closely with Roger Woolsey in the Colby Career Center as they begin to get the site up and running. They hope to launch the site in about a year.
"Our main obstacle right now is funding. Our endeavor is an expensive one, and for it to come into fruition, we need significantly more startup funding," Worcester said.
In an effort to raise funds, the pair is currently in the running for a $25,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project. At the end of the month, if Hussey and Worcester's idea is among the top 10 vote recipients in their category, they will be awarded the grant.
Designing the website has been a valuable learning experience for the duo. "I feel like the heart of every liberal arts college program is to teach their students how to think and problem-solve, and I think that this project is really an application of that learning process," Hussey said.
As an economics major, Worcester also feels that the project is helping him develop useful skills.
"Business in the 21st century is so reliant on technology that it is inevitable that computer science will be an integral component of my career in some form or another," he said.
To vote for the pair in the Pepsi Refresh contest, visit refresheverything.com/liberalarts or text the number 102064 to 73774.