I really thought writing the headline for this post would drive it home loud and clear but apparently that is not the case. So, please allow me to reiterate what may not appear as an obvious problem to most: Search and Discovery around finding online colleges is broken.
Broken? Really? You mean, you just cant’ search for “best online colleges” on Google and get results? I mean, you can. Go ahead and try it…..I’ll wait. Oh great, you have returned. Did you find your results? What’s that? You got search results – but they were basically just aggregator sites with sad UX copy, begging and pleading with you to enter all of your Personally Identifiable Information into some form so they can “recommend a school” or get you “pre qualified” for some student load with 500% interest. MmmmKay.
Ok, to be fair, it probably wasn’t all bad. I’m willing to bet you a whole dollar that you probably saw at least four really spectacular search results.
The kind of search results that show up first. The kind of search results that know who you are, know what you seek and let’s face it, know what Uber Eats brought you for dessert last Thursday at 4:30pm EDT. How can a search result be that accurate you ask? THEY CAN”T…IT’S AN AD!
That’s right. It’s an ad. Actually, most of the search results are ads. At least the top four “search results” certainly are. Coveted positions, bought and paid for by the highest bidder. The school with the biggest advertising budget, not your best intentions in mind I might add, spent a whole pile of money to outbid others schools to win a place in your heart, I mean, a place in your search results.
To be fair, there are actually search results, you just need to scroll past the ads and then past this thing:
To get to a list of search results filled with content-farm-factory-websites and shady college aggregator sites, just “keep on scrollin” – you’ll eventually find what you are looking for. At least we think you will.
We don’t know what the solution for this problem is, but we are going to try our best to improve upon it. Our goal is to provide a home on the internet that people can use to discover online colleges, boot camps, non-traditional schools, makers & creators – that align with their core values and offer programs they want to learn.