- Campus Steps, a startup that simplifies the college application process via online profiles for high school students, announced Tuesday that it raised $3 million in funding.
- The funding round includes a $2 million seed round from partner Campus Explorer and a $1 million Series A commitment from OCA Ventures, Rincon Venture Partners, and Vicente Capital, according to EdSurge.
- The network, currently in use at 6,300 U.S. high schools, is seen by CEO Mark Eastwood as a LinkedIn for high schoolers, and it also includes a "Tinder-like" feature that lets students swipe through photos of campuses.
Profiles feature questionnaires where students can provide information on things like career goals or what they want in a college, and while the "Tinder-like" campus photo swiping feature may seem a bit superficial as far as choosing an education, EdSurge reports that the site has been used by 550 counselors and 20,000 students this year. Students can also watch video profiles of various institutions for additional insight.
The big value proposition here, however, is for high school counselors, who save time by having the information readily available during student meetings. The platform also allows counselors to message individual students or an entire class. Students paying a $30 per month premium can also get personalized guidance from a Campus Steps counselor. Eastwood envisions the site providing each student with between five and 10 "good fit" colleges or universities.
Currently in pilot: A "Course Planner" that would help eighth graders plot their high school course loads to meet entrance requirements for their preferred colleges.