Powerful “recommendation engine” addresses the guidance gap by personalizing the path from access to admission.

Freeport, ME – October 17, 2012– As student debt reaches epic levels, PossibilityU has launched a unique web-based college counseling program that matches students with the post-secondary opportunities where they will thrive academically and socially – without breaking the bank. It was singled out this week at the White House’s Education Datapalooza – a conference about using data and technology to advance educational achievement in the US.

PossibilityU’s program simplifies and personalizes the college search for students by combining a best practices college counseling curriculum with a powerful and innovative recommendation engine. Like a Kahn Academy for the transition from high school to college, this program brings the coaching, matching expertise and admission reminders that a school guidance office would – if the staffing, time and funds were available.

PossibilityU’s proprietary recommendation engine reveals the right set of colleges, personalized for each student using 78 different criteria. It provides insight into best-fit schools on three dimensions: Academic fit (level of challenge and match for aspirations), Social (campus feel, activities, etc) and Financial (opportunities for merit aid, cost of attendance, etc). PossibilityU is so powerful that the K-12 Technology group of Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the world’s leading education company, has included it among the learning apps it offers to schools across the US.

“Would you make a million dollar decision with less than an hour of guidance? Likely not, but due to school budget constraints, high ratios of students to guidance counselors, and limited resources, the average high school student in America receives just 38 minutes of college guidance. The difference in lifetime earnings between a working adult with a high school diploma and one with a college diploma is estimated at $1 million. We created PossibilityU to give students better context and personalized information around this critical and increasingly complex decision,” said PossibilityU founder Betsy Peters.

PossibilityU’s Admission Toolkit helps students find schools where they will thrive by combining student data with data reported by the 4,000+ schools in the US to increase the likelihood of admission, aid and, completion with a degree in 4 years or less.

Here’s how it works: The student begins by entering schools of interest. The recommendation engine then suggests more colleges to investigate based on common academic and social characteristics culled from 78 different “fit and feel” criteria, as gleaned from government reports and other proprietary sources. Next, after personalizing the search with the student’s grades and test scores, the program sorts and plots the chances of the student getting in and getting aid from this set of schools. Unlike more conventional college search engines and guidebooks, PossibilityU quickly, simply and accurately personalizes the search – improving each student’s chances of finding the college that fits. The technology is akin to how Pandora “learns” from one’s listening history to create a custom channel for an individual. From there, students get a heat map visualization of their chances not only of getting in but also of getting aid – to help prioritize which schools they should apply to.

In addition to the recommendation engine, PossibilityU further helps families to manage the college admissions process, by providing engaging video lessons to teach strategies and answer the “how-to” questions college counselors get most. The Admission Toolkit also features an admission management tool to keep students on time and on track, as well as dashboard transparency for parents and mentors who wish to provide support or interventions.

“The ultimate goal of our program is to use the power of Big Data to support all students in finding a college where they will get a degree in 4 years or less. This kind of college success will only come when students start with a clear, personal context about one of the biggest decisions they will make in their lives” said Peters.

With prices starting as low as the purchase of a college guidebook, PossibilityU is priced to bring extra support to as many students as possible in order to help them navigate this critically important transition.

For more information about PossibilityU log into www.PossibilityU.com or call 877-503-7896.

About PossibilityU
PossibilityU is an educational technology company dedicated to democratizing college access and success through personalization, context and transparency. Their Admission Toolkit is an online college guidance program that combines the expert knowledge of college admission specialists with behavior theory and persuasive technology to ensure students are intellectually ready for college – prepared to make the academic, social and financial choices that will set them up best to get a diploma in 4 years or less. Its unique dashboards provide parents, high school counselors and administrators with the data to manage and track the college admission process.

To learn more about PossibilityU, visit www.possibilityU.com.

Media Contacts:

Betsy Peters
PossibilityU
(207) 332-5360
Betsy.peters@possibilityu.com

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