SuperMatch Is Super Cool

Finding the right college can be a lot tougher than finding the right girlfriend or boyfriend. Plus, many times the stakes are much higher. What can a confused high schooler and his parents do? Well, finding the right answer just became a whole lot easier (and cooler) with the debut of the ultimate college search-and-matching tool: SuperMatch.

SuperMatch is the latest advantage College Confidential provides for high schoolers. As the CC Web site’s SuperMatch link proclaims, “College Confidential can help you narrow down your school choices. Search more than 3,000 colleges and universities by name, location, or area of study!” So, what makes SuperMatch all that different from (and superior to) all the other college-search tools out there?

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For starters, SuperMatch allows students and parents to search online for a college or university by using 19 criteria, including location, tuition, admission standards, major and Greek life. Here’s more from a SuperMatch news article:

Hobsons’ new online tool simplifies college searches

Hobsons [College Confidential’s parent company] has launched a new tool to help students personalize their college search – whether that’s finding a school that’s close to home, one in a great college town or one that meets the budget.

Students can rank items based on importance and get a list of the top-ranked schools based on the search. The free tool is at www.collegeconfidential.com

Jeremy Cooper, president of Hobsons’ Integrated Marketing Solutions (IMS) division, says traditional college search tools only provide results on limited student criteria like location and tuition costs.

“SuperMatch will be a significant element of IMS’ growth over the next few years by revolutionizing how college searches are done,” he says.

Hobsons is becoming a major player in the educational services industry.

It has had record revenue and profits each year for the 10 past years, says Craig Heldman, the company’s global CEO based in Sharonville.

Hobsons expects to post near $100 million in revenue this year, up 12 percent from 2009, Heldman says. The firm’s local employment has doubled to 200 from 2007, when its headquarters was moved to Cincinnati from London.

With 550 employees worldwide, it has three businesses:

Hobsons’ IMS division offers printed, online and other marketing tools and technology solutions to 900 clients to help colleges recruit U.S. undergraduate, international and graduate students. In March alone, it registered more than 5.1 million visits to its Web sites, including College Confidential, CollegeView, GradView and USA Education Guides, says Brian Mikesell, vice president of products for IMS.

Hobsons’ enrollment management technology division has 1,300 clients and provides technology tools to help colleges recruit, admit, enroll and retain students. It processed more than 3 million online student applications last year, Hobsons says.

The company does business with more than 1,500 colleges and universities across the country, including the University of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, Xavier University and Miami University in Oxford, Mikesell says.

Naviance, Hobsons’ kindergarten-through-grade-12 division, offers planning and advising tools to more than 100,000 high school teachers, guidance counselors and administrators in 73 countries to help students with college and career readiness.

It’s active in more than 4,000 schools, mainly in the United States.

The company makes money mainly by charging colleges, universities and high schools for its products and services.

Hobsons’ success comes as the industry experiences rising tuition costs, a lower percentage of American students attending colleges and universities, and an increasing number of international students going to U.S. schools.

Tom Canepa, associate vice president for admissions at the University of Cincinnati, says his office has used Hobsons products for five years.

They help his office manage communications with prospective students, making interaction more efficient and effective, Canepa says.

“Their products save us a lot of time while recruiting students,” he says.

Heldman, 43, credits the company’s employees.

“One of the common threads across our staff is that we are really passionate about the importance of education.”

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One comment following the news article notes, “Love this tool. Used it to find nursing colleges. It found a few that we were already looking at plus a few new ones to look into.”

So, what are you waiting for? Take a SuperMatch test drive today. Remember: The college you find there may become your alma mater!

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Be sure to check out all my admissions-related articles and book reviews at College Confidential.