09.15.2017: ConnecPath Gives High School Students More Freedom Over College Choices

The Silicon Valley Startup has developed a mobile app that helps streamline the question and answer process for college seekers.

In the United States there are over 4,700 colleges that nearly 14 million high school students need to choose from.

Currently, the school counselor to student ratio is 1:491. Those students that do get an opportunity to meet with the school counsellor to discuss their futures are only allotted 10 minutes a year.

“Except for a handful of resourceful schools, school counselors are too busy to deliver tailored counseling to them,” ConnecPath founder Leo Sanada said.

Thus, it is clear that students are left to make one of the biggest decisions of their life on their own.

It is not surprising then that the statistics show 80 percent of college students change their majors and that 37 percent go further and change their schools.  Only 44 percent of college students graduate within four years.

College is an expensive undertaking and making ad hoc decisions only adds to the cost and the stress.

A private four-year degree can cost between $45,500 and $129,500.  Students who opt to attend a public college in their home state will be looking at an investment of between $32,600 and $92,800. Those that go out of state for their education will need $40,900 to $116,400 for a four-year degree.

Those students who delay graduation by changing majors or schools pay even more tuition. In addition, the extra time they spend in college delays their working and earning careers. One source indicates this costs families $250 billion a year.

Sanada believes the root problem has been insufficient guidance for high school students considering college.

Thus, the Startup has developed an app to boost college readiness for the students and help them find a direction before they head off to post secondary schools. 

Thanks to advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology, Sanada saw the potential of a chatbot to help students find out more about future career choices.

Building on prototype designs, Sanada developed the ConnecPath app that offers answers to high school students’ questions about colleges and programs.

Students can seek out answers either from a chatbot designed to answer the most common questions or from a school forum, which is specific to each school.

The app helps students find the answers they need to make one of the biggest choices in their lives.

ConnecPath was officially granted corporation status on September 15, 2017.