Acceptly Uses Social Contacts to Help Students Get Into College

Acceptly is a Facebook Connect application that leverages a user’s social network to help motivate and encourage them in the process of applying to colleges and universities. The app currently works only for high school students set on beginning their undergraduate careers, but the company’s community director, Kathryn Favaro, says eventually it could also be made available for graduate school applicants.

The free app gathers a user’s information via Connect, creates a profile, and then allows the user to begin racking up points by completing tasks that will aid them in their college application process, such as writing up their extracurricular activities or making a list of colleges they would like to apply to.

The app also directs students consistently back to Acceptly’s website for more information on, say, how to volunteer or why extracurricular activities are important.

When these tasks are completed, users receive points and badges, and there are several opportunities to publish these acts to their Facebook feed, thus alerting friends to their activities and inviting engagement around the college application process. It’s precisely the publishing of this information that Favaro says is the crux of Acceptly’s work.

“We’ve done a lot of research in game mechanics, and so the fun, social and motivation [aspect of Acceptly] is very much what we’re playing on,” she tells us. Additionally, Favaro says part of the company’s monetization model is to allow students to exchange their points for scholarships or discounts on textbooks.

Ultimately Acceptly is striving to become not just a tool students may use to organize their application process, and motivate themselves to do it, but also to become a community of would-be college students that can provide support internally. As that process continues, the company is also working to individualize and customize each users’ profile down to geography and specific needs, such as recommending a specific tutor to help a student with critical reading for the SAT.

Acceptly has an interesting integration because it seems to leverage the social aspect of a high schooler’s experience as it pertains to college, rather than trying to become the experience as other apps have done. We’ve written previously about Inigral’s attempt to build a closed version of Facebook and CampusBuddy’s application’s most recent partnership with Cramster.