Kazzu will help students find the best college fit for their mind, their heart, and their wallet. Kazzu does this by providing convenient access to honest, reliable, and valuable information to assist students in identifying their ideal college experience and then making that experience achievable. The site has the following features –
Simple platform navigation: Our goal is to provide a platform that is as easy and intuitive to use as possible. When students land on our homepage, they are greeted with a jumbotron that helps direct them to create an account if they’d like, along with a sortable Top Ten Search Engine right underneath for users to get an immediate feel of how our platform operates. Using this Top Ten Search Engine, users can first select which geographic area they would like to focus on, and then the program lists the Top Ten schools for each rating (eg. Top Ten Schools in the Bay Area for Access to Professors, Top Ten Schools in the Bay Area for Housing Facilities, etc). When users click on any particular school, they are directed to its individual page to learn more. The right hand bar features a list of Trending Schools – those that are being viewed the most in the past week. If users arrive to the site with a particular school in mind, they can simply use the search tool in the header to go directly to that page.
Honest ratings that provide valuable information to students about each school: At the top of each individual college page, users can find ratings on particular aspects of that college as generated by current students from that institution. For example, these ratings range from Access to Extracurriculars, Housing Facilities, Academics, Safety, Transportation, Student Activism, Diversity, First Year Experience, Accessibility (for those with disabilities), and several more. Based on feedback and research, these are components that are salient and valued by prospective students, but difficult to find through just a college website. While many current college students are satisfied with their general college experience, by breaking that experience down into these different parts, they are able to parse out aspects that are better or need to be improved on. This enables prospective students the opportunity to access honest information about the variety of schools they may be considering.
The picture and video carousel: Students shouldn’t just read about a school. They need to see it. However, traveling to different campuses is costly and takes time that students and their families do not always have. By providing a picture and video carousel on each college page with images uploaded by current students, prospective students can feel as though they are taking a campus tour right from the comfort of their home. Further, prospective students may well get a better idea of “real life” on campus – as opposed to the branded campus tour. A simple tool that no other college search platform provides, the picture and video carousel is impactful and helps the school be more than just words on a screen.
Non-Anonymous reviews and message threads: Kazzu encourages transparency with user reviews of individual schools by having reviewers include their first name and last initial, year in college, major, and a profile picture. This is done to ensure visitors know that they are reading reliable reviews and comments. Visitors don’t see these typed reviews as just words from a stranger – these are honest opinions from Jake at UC Davis, a junior in the chemistry department, or Anna at Cal-State Northridge, a freshman who is undecided. Having these non-anonymous reviews also encourages users to be more inclined to take advantage of the message thread tool. They can follow-up with an individual reviewer and ask more questions, whether it’s about a comment made about the new ethnic studies department or the new scholarships available.
Reliable Information: In addition to the ratings, reviews, and images, each school page includes a left-hand toolbar that lists the vitals about that school. Everything from gender splits, cost of tuition, notable faculty and events, to average GPA and SAT scores. These numbers are regularly fact-checked to make sure they are accurate and up-to-date. More importantly, one of the powerful features of Kazzu is the Did You Know section. This section includes facts and tips that can be helpful for a prospective applicant in deciding on a school. For example, a state university may include a Did You Know letting the user know that the school has a relationship with certain community colleges to provide automatic transfer if they meet certain unit prerequisites. Knowing this can be helpful for students who are deeply concerned about the financial stress from attending a four-year state university. If a visitor wants to apply to the school, the left-hand toolbar also has a link that directs him or her to the actual application and financial aid forms.