NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Unigo.com announced today that it closed its first round of institutional funding, led by The McGraw-Hill Companies. Powered by a network of the nation's top college counselors and a vibrant community of enrolled college students, Unigo is the Web's largest resource of information to find, get in and pay for college. Unigo will use the investment to expand to include graduate schools and accredited universities outside the United States, and broaden its reach through alliances with major publishers.
"Unigo has attracted a vast community of college counselors and university students, and mobilized them to create the most authoritative college admissions resource and the largest library of college reviews on the Internet," said Jeff Livingston, senior vice president, McGraw-Hill School Education. "We invested in Unigo, in large part, because they share one of McGraw-Hill Education's main objectives – to provide real solutions that address the lack of guidance, student readiness and retention in higher education."
Research by Public Agenda, commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, suggests, "the existing high school guidance system is a perilously weak part of the nation's efforts to increase college attendance." The report "offers disturbing confirmation that … the system is failing." The College Board estimates the national ratio of high school students to college counselors is 467 to 1, and college counselors only spend an average of 38 minutes per student per year, according to a report commissioned by the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Unigo fills the gap to empower families to bypass these limitations and tap into a vibrant community of top college counselors for admissions and financial advice, and access more than 200,000 multimedia reviews by students on 6,500 campuses across the country, for free. Game mechanics incentivize counselors and students to compete as they contribute more, leading to a 400% increase in content over the past year.
"Unigo is a rich digital media property designed for a hungry, underserved audience that has quickly earned the trust of families, universities and established publishers alike," said Tom Rogers, CEO and president, Tivo, founder of CNBC and Unigo board advisor. "Every year, more than 25 million high school students and their parents struggle through the college admissions process. And the cycle repeats. Unigo created an insightful and entertaining place to get it all done."
Also announced today, US News & World Report has selected Unigo to provide student reviews for its venerable rankings and directories, including its college rankings to be released this month. According to The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, "built on lively content...Unigo is a college-information resource built for the age of YouTube and Facebook."
"Traditionally, guidance on how to choose, get in and pay for college has only been accessible to the privileged few," said Jordan Goldman, founder & CEO, Unigo.com. "With this new round of capital, we will expand our incredible network of college counselors and college students and introduce powerful new tools to support the leap to higher education for everyone."
Jordan Goldman authored the Students' Guide to Colleges series in five editions for Penguin Books, and Inc. Magazine named him one of the top 30 young entrepreneurs in America.
Powered by a network of the nation's top college counselors and a vibrant community of enrolled college students, Unigo is the Web's largest resource of information to find, get in and pay for college. Families use Unigo for admissions advice and access to more than 200,000 multimedia reviews by students on 6,500 campuses across the country, for free. The reviews on Unigo are included in US News & World Report's college directory and rankings. Founded in 2008, Unigo is based in New York and funded by McGraw Hill and angel investors. For more information or to see how your university stacks up, go to Unigo.com.
About McGraw-Hill Education
McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, is a leading innovator in the development of teaching and learning solutions for the 21st century. Through a comprehensive range of traditional and digital education content and tools, McGraw-Hill Education empowers and prepares professionals and students of all ages to connect, learn and succeed in the global economy. McGraw-Hill Education has offices in 33 countries and publishes in more than 65 languages. Additional information is available at mheducation.com.