ATLANTA, April 11, 2016/ Adam Shapiro/- Graduate schools across the country, facing increased competition, are looking for new ways to attract interest from prospective, diverse students. Every graduate school program at Georgia State University now has access to a method that is already popular for online dating — a match service that connects students and interested programs and then allows them to start a two-way conversation.
Georgia State is an enterprising urban public research university in downtown Atlanta. Its College of Arts and Sciences is one of the programs in particular that has embraced Gradschoolmatch.com (www.gradschoolmatch.com) because of its success to date.
“I’m definitely seeing activity; some of our lesser known programs are seeing more bookmarks from prospects than they would visitors at a grad school fair, so we know it’s working,” says Lita Malveaux, assistant director, Georgia State University Office of Graduate Services, College of Arts and Sciences. “It’s typical to liken recruitment to a funnel and while we have had success converting applicants to enrolled students, we’ve had a harder time finding and converting prospects to applicants and that’s where Gradschoolmatch comes in…they’ve met us where we need help the most, at the top of the funnel.”
The College of Arts and Sciences has even built a direct inquiry page on its website that links directly to Gradschoolmatch: https://www.gradschoolmatch.com/universities/947-georgia-state-university/inquiry. This special features allows prospective students to have a connection to faculty through Georgia State’s own website without needing to go through a third party.
Gradschoolmatch, based in Decatur, Ga., has research that shows the typical student only bookmarks eight programs of the hundreds they might choose otherwise. The service has found that identifying prospects costs as little as $1.06 per student, a great savings over traditional methods.
The proprietary matching system was founded by TJ Murphy, Ph.D., who teaches at Emory University and envisioned a simple and inexpensive way to seek out the prospects his program needed anywhere in the world. He and his colleagues built an algorithm that matches students with graduate programs.
The system also allows programs to highlight their academic fields, rankings, stipends, scholarships, application deadlines and other details. www.gradschoolmatch.com/graduate_programs
Gradschoolmatch’s one-of-a-kind messaging service allows prospective students to communicate directly with grad school faculty so they can get questions answered and start to build relationships. National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals research indicates personal engagement drives recruiting success.
“The coolest feature of all is that the schools can show interest in you, even if you have not yet found out about them, which is unprecedented in the search for a graduate school,” says Teague Cole, a student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
In addition to Georgia State, other schools using Gradschoolmatch include Vanderbilt University’s Graduate Programs in Biomedical Sciences, University of Virginia School of Architecture and Baylor College of Medicine.
There is no cost for students to use Gradschoolmatch, and currently more than 375,000 students are part of the process.