Friday, December 12, 2008


December 12, 2008 - Last week, I…I mean a friend of mine, was telling me about his lunch. He stopped into McDonald’s even though there was a Burger King next door. Just this morning, I navigated three blocks north to grab a Dunkins black, 2 Splenda (sugar is bad for you) even though there was a Starbucks near my building. It got me thinking about how competition makes the world go round. With it, we get choices, value and benefits, of course, as long as we are making informed decisions. How would I know I preferred Facebook over MySpace, Coke (diet, of course) over Pepsi, and the Cubs over the White Sox (just kidding, Chicago office) if I hadn’t experienced both, right?

In our world of technology for college counseling, competition is now driving decision-making at the high school level. Last week’s NACAC list serve discussed some of the differences between ConnectEDU’s platforms – Connect! & PrepHQ - and the competition and, in so doing, demonstrated that in this economy high schools are doing their research. Here’s what they had to say:

We have started using ConnectEdu this year with our seniors. Our goal is to have our entire school (1200 students) registered and using Connect by the end of the school year. So far we have found Connect to be a useful tool and look forward to implementing it more in the future. It has helped us organize our college application process and improved our communication with the senior class. The kids that have really used Connect, seem to like it. We have not used (“competitive solution”), as a public school not having to pay for Connect was a real bonus.”

“We are using Connect here and are finding it very helpful to us. This is really our first full year of getting students actively involved in using the program. The support we receive is amazing! The cost effectiveness of this program is also extremely beneficial as we are facing a budget crisis. We cannot afford (“competitive solution”) and therefore only use Connect. I think it’s a great program.”

“We are currently using (“competitive solution”) and would be interested in how ConnectEDU could be a compliment or a replacement…”

“From what I hear, (“competitive solution”) continues to be a fine product, but we could not justify the cost when a free alternative was available.”

“…we switched to Prep HQ, which offers nearly the same services and is free. Prep HQ has now been bought by ConnectEdu. Customer service from Prep HQ has been outstanding, and that has not changed since their acquisition by Connect.”

“Prep HQ/ConnectEdu is free! So I’m saving money in my budget and using it. I have been very happy with it for the last 4 years. It has served our community well!

Clearly, some folks are making financial decisions in light of the looming budget cuts. They are realizing they can receive the same benefits through a solution provided by the sponsorship of our college partners – yes, no cost to the high school. As they begin to send electronic admissions documents, unique to ConnectEDU platforms, they’ll also cut existing costs associated with the college admission process. Sooner rather than later, the savings will run deeper than the competition’s purchase price. We already have some high schools reporting first-time savings of up to $10,000 dollars!

So as we all focus on tightening our economic belts during these struggling times we live in. ConnectEDU remains committed to saving high schools and students money.

Maybe that $1 menu isn’t so bad after all …

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