O's List was started by Oindrila and Sameer to help reduce some of the stress and confusion that surrounds college applications, by using a data driven and an analytical approach towards building a college list. We are parents and folks who have worked with data all our lives. We feel that we can help students, parents and counsellors by bringing some clarity and logic to the college applications process.
It is true that there is a lot of college resources out there. Some are good, others are meh. Some sell your data to college, others run ads, so you are never quite sure if the information is completely unbiased. And sadly enough, despite all these resources, there is still so much anxiety and stress around college applications. There is so much of "Are we missing something?" or "Did we leave out some college?" And a lot of meaningless information. Information that just clouds thinking, not help you make choices.
Did you know there are 3,177 four-year colleges in the US? Of which there are 2,464 public and private not-for-profit four-year colleges? And every year each college release several thousand items of data? Now imagine anyone trying to sort through this data to find their fit and then apply to colleges! It's hard. Which one of the resons that most students and parents only focus on a few colleges, either based on rankings or what they have heard from friends, family, fellow students and parents. Now, if you step back and think about it, college is a big decision for a students and their family. It is four, if not more, years of a student's life. It is a big financial decision. And a career decision. And a happiness decision.
If you had to make a decision of this magnitude at a company, what would you do? You would pour over the data, slice and dice the numbers. Use analytics software to guide you through a sales/marketing/engineering decision. And yet for college, we don't quite do that.
O's List is here to change that. We bring mindfulness and transparency around the college selection process. O's List uses search and deep analytics and algorithmic intelligence to figure out where "you" should apply for colleges.
We have two simple philosophies that are hard coded in our algorithms. We only recommend to you what we would recommend to our children. If we would not send our own child to any particular college, then we'll not ask you to go there or send your child there. To us, it does not matter if a student has a GPA of 2.5 or 4.5, a SAT score of 800 or 1600 … every student deserves the same degree of consideration, hope and support from us. This is what sets us apart. Our analytics and algorithms are designed to find any student their reach, target and safety colleges.
Oindrila: A parent, a startup founder, loves science. Loves organizing science fairs at her kids' schools. An ex-physicist, and engineer. While doing her Ph.D. in Physics, she did all the grad school stuff like collaborating with research groups at many universities, presenting papers at conferences and eating butter pecan ice cream at the Penn State Creamery.
Sameer, A parent, a data geek, a hedge fund guy, passionate about all things tech, science and math. Even now he keeps abreast of Quantum Gravity! Ph.D. in Physics, yep you guessed it — it was in quantum gravity! Mentors students to be coders and data scientists. Did his graduate work at Penn State and was a visiting scholar at the Santa Fe Institute.
Most of all, we are data geeks and we love challenges. Bringing clarity to the college admissions is a challenge we are looking forward to solve.
No! Its against our DNA. We are not going to sell your data or profile to colleges or anyone.
We do not get paid by any college. The colleges that you see on your list is because our models have determined that it may be a good place for the student and parent to consider for application.
We analyze many data points including your responses to our questions while recommending a list of colleges. The list is here to help focus your search and thoughts. Just so that you don't feel that you don't know where to begin, and to go beyond the the most popular 50 colleges. The list is here to get a conversation going between parents, students and their high school counsellors.