Schoold Uses Machine Learning to Do Your College Scholarship Hunt

Now that high school seniors have made the fateful choice of a college to attend in the fall, their parents are free to pull out tufts of hair as they figure out how to pay for it.

Scholarships are life-saving options, but they can be hard to ferret out, says San Francisco-based startup Schoold, which offers a free college-planning mobile app. The company, which uses artificial intelligence techniques to personalize help for individual students, today announced a new “Scholarship” function on its app. It will automatically surface details on study grants and awards that could work for each particular user.

The app takes into account the student’s intended college, major, interests, and other elements of the profile they create on the app. Machine learning will make the app more efficient over time as it analyzes more student profiles and the scholarships they actually apply for, the company says.

College planning apps—-and there are tons of them—can be a boon for families faced with mounting college costs, as well as students trying to keep up their senior grades while they dig through mounds of material to find colleges and workable financial aid options.

But it could be an irony of the age of artificial intelligence that we are relieving college-bound students of the need to learn how to find multiple sources of information, evaluate them, and draw conclusions—-exactly the skills they’ll need to exercise in college.

Or will they? Could the essential skill of tomorrow’s learners and workers be to find—-or design—-the optimal data-sorting machines to do it all for them?

If so, here’s an exercise: Decide which college planning app does the best job for you.

Among the many are:

San Francisco-based NerdWallet’s Nerdscholar site:

Sallie Mae’s College Ahead site

National Association for College Admission Counseling’s page for students and parents

College Board’s Big Future

Cappex

Naviance

Photo credit: Bernadette Tansey

 

Bernadette Tansey is Xconomy's San Francisco Editor. You can reach her at btansey@xconomy.com. Follow @Tansey_Xconomy

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