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home:scholargator [2017/09/15 17:58] (current)
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 +====== ScholarGator Notes ======
 +An idea I had for a startup way back in Freshman year of college. Here are some of the notes that I made, and I'm keeping them here for longevity.
 +Last Updated...oh...March of Sophomore year
 +===== Recent Updates =====
 +  * Chrome Screen Scraper extension: (includes github source)
 +===== To-Dos =====
 +==== ASAP ====
 +Add a Coming Soon! type of page on with a form to enter email address for updates.
 +Clean up duplicate entries (remove old listings, esp. Beaverton)
 +Clean up date listings
 +Add an item
 +==== Marketing (in order of necessity) ====
 +Make an image preview show up in a Facebook link.
 +Create an attractive favicon. Should work for Facebook too? Might be the same link...
 +Make a logo
 +Make a "Coming Soon/ Sign up for Updates" page
 +Add an item
 +==== Money Generation Ideas ====
 +  * //Ahh, yes, the famous step between the idea and millionaire stages. No wonder it was blank... //
 +Add an item
 +==== Scraping/Collecting Info ====
 +Different brainstormed ideas on how to get more scholarship data or clean up existing data
 +Develop an uploading interface for high school counselors to import their existing information using jQuery which will export to a Scrubyt ROR script, which will return all of their scholarships for further editing
 +Incentivize counselors (and school principals/districts) to add and contribute to the database by providing a $500 or $1000 school supply fund for their school
 +Allow students to add new scholarships by using the "Add New Scholarships" interface and getting "points" per entry or verification returnable for a raffle or competition drawing for a number of scholarships (~$250 each) -The more details on the scholarship information, the more points they get
 +Reviewers should be random and cross-town (different region) so that there's no malicious collaboration and it's from an unbiased source
 +If it appears that multiple scholarships from one inputter is coming from one website, then stop the person from entering more (to stop from bloating their score) and ask to enter an email for the site maintainer to get all of the entries
 +^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ If it's Fastweb,, or other scholarship sites, it would be ILLEGAL to import their information. Make sure that this point is emphasized. Then again, usually that stuff is behind a login anyway and not able to be searched by Google or by entering in a specific URL
 +==== Technical Stuff ==== should redirect to
 +The URL field on making a new entry from a website should check for an "http://" or add it if it isn't there. It won't show otherwise!
 +Have a URL checking script that uses this script from W3C. Check Wordpress plugin if need extra help
 +==== Usability ====
 +  * //ALMOST DONE "Add New Scholarship" Interface: -Be able to either enter in a URL or type in Google search terms to find a scholarship page--"here": -Takes them to a pop-up page of the scholarship website with a frame on top for the scholarship information -Allow the user (using jQuery) to select and hover over certain information (title, criteria, amount, etc.) and click (inside of a pop-up bubble) the category that it corresponds to, at which point it flies up to the bar on the top and is imported -Once this is done, remind the person that it still needs to be reviewed by two people, but that they will get their points when that is done
 +  * Add New Scholarship 2^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Do we want the links to be active inside the editing window? //I don't think so, as it would promote logging into a website like Fastweb and importing their info
 +Have the home search page automatically find the location for scholarships based on the IP address and fill in the location search field automatically with the city and state (like
 +Show a "% similar" for duplicate scholarship listings on upload. "Presidential Scholarship" with no school name should not be as similar as "Presidential Scholarship at OSU"
 +Color-Coded Scholarship Listings (on personal page) -Blue for newly entered--need 2 reviewers -Yellow for ... needing one more reviewer -Green is good to go! 2 reviewers have looked at it and it's live on the website -Red means that there is an error--bad link, insufficient information, etc.
 +Overall spell-checker
 +Ability to Copy + Paste Scraping information??? (i.e. Copy and Paste straight from a table such as Word or Excel) *Might not be the best strategy vs. just uploading*
 +Add an item
 +==== Student Experience ====
 +  * Show 30-40 general career field items instead of specific listings and have check boxes on them
 +===== Messages =====
 +==== Interview with Gail Grand, Founder of ====
 +March 5 2009
 +I was able to talk with another person from the startup information side of higher education last night. Her name was Gail Grand, and she founded, a site focused on delivering information about summer camps for students. She knows about a lot of summer programs and wrote a few books, but found that her books got outdated quickly and wanted to try putting it on the internet. Currently her revenue and data sources are solicitations from the programs themselves, which is a tedious process for $25-50-a-year sponsorships, but it is possible.
 +On a more interesting note, she mentioned her relationship with Naviance (the program that I might’ve mentioned to you) that individual school districts pay for in order to help their counselors track college admissions information and get their research onto a common portal for students and parents to look at. (more reading here if interested) She is partnering ($$) with Naviance to have her Enrichment Alley database incorporated into their suite of applications. Gail said that they were specifically struggling with local scholarship information, so they might be another potential customer.
 +She was very adamant about one thing, and that was selling student information. She harped on both Fastweb and Zinch for making a profit off of student information and then returning the favor with massive amounts of spam email to students. I think there’s a gray area there that can go both ways, but she doubted that we’d be able to get free counselor support if we made a profit off of their information by spamming their students. Another option is partnering with Naviance and charging the counselors to input their information into our database and for students to access it >.< Ideas, comments? We’ll need to take this into account as we talk about partnering with anyone…
 +Both Abhinav and I (and James for that matter) are here over Spring Break. Realistically I think we can get a login interface set up, set up an automated listing importer, and clean up duplicate entries in the database, especially if I can recruit James for a day or two.
 +==== Recap on UEA Business Plan Competition ====
 +Feb 16 2009
 +(from follow-up email to Kit Needham)
 +A quick recap on how the business plan competition went. First we spent quite a few hours preparing for the competition today, and that was really only because we had tests last week and so there wasn’t much homework this weekend (i.e. we’re still students, and really only have room for this every couple months like you mentioned :) ). I wasn’t able to see the other presentations because of church, but Abhinav said they were a lot more polished and focused a lot more on the business and “selling” side of things. I took too long explaining the moral need and the technical details of a scholarship aggregation service (and showing off the awesome demo website ) than I should’ve, and so we ended up going a few minutes over, rushing through the “selling” pitches, and annoying the business students a bit.
 +The comments afterwards from Babs, Luke Skurman, and the other judge were very helpful. Luke wanted to know if any legal issues arised with aggregating scholarship information and had some more questions on how we expect to scrape large amounts of data. I don’t quite remember what Babs asked us during the q/a, but she did mention that an entrepreneurial class or two that she teaches would be beneficial. The last judge brought up some questions about whether people would wait on giving out special scholarship information that only they knew about (privacy = more chances for their son/daughter/students). He also didn’t think that some local scholarship providers would be gung-ho about reading through 25 scholarship applications vs. the 5 that they would get without marketing. We had pretty solid answers for most of the points, so should we try and answer all of those issues in our next revision of the business plan?
 +==== Notes from Meeting with David and Todd (Fooala) ====
 +January 26 2009
 +Meeting went great. David had comments about … finish later
home/scholargator.txt · Last modified: 2017/09/15 17:58 (external edit)