NextLeap is a new startup, targeting students who are interested in going abroad for higher studies. At the core is an algorithm that has analyzed past admissions data from US universities for Indian students and has come up with a mathematical model which aims to predict the chances of success for any particular student who is applying to a given university. Around this IP, NextLeap has started operations with the following offerings:
University Suggestor: A student needs to key in their academic information, along with their GRE scores, research & work experience, and any specific field of study they are interested in. The engine then compares their information with their database and generates a list of Universities a student is most likely to get into.
University Predictor: Is similar to the university suggestor, except that the student also indicates a University that s/he is interested in, and the predictor gives the students chances of successfully getting accepted.
For example, if a student has a GRE score of 1350 on 1600, 65% score in engineering and he is from Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT) and aspires to apply to Ohio State University – the University Predictor will run mathematical models to check if Ohio State accepts people with GRE score of around 1350, academics at 65% and PICT’s historic admission accepts-rejects to Ohio State. Combination of all this, the Predictor will rate Ohio State as a Safe (easier to get in), moderate (harder to get in) and Ambitious (challenge to get in) for the student.
There is also a Question & Answer area where prospective students can ask any questions related to this domain, and these are answered either by NextLeap, or other users of the site, including students who are currently studying in the US, and industry people.
Finally, there's a NextLeap Blog that aims to give students general information that they might find interesting.
All the above services are free. However, they do have a "paid" version of the service where they also arrange for a one time review of the Statement of Purpose and a phone conversation with students in the USA enabling aspiring applicants to speak with current students directly.
NextLeap claims to be different from other players in this area because:
- They are not affiliated with any US university; and hence do not have any vested in interest in "pushing" one or more universities over other. In other words, their recommendations are impartial
- They believe it is the first time in India that an online engine with mathematical models and machine learning techniques has been enabled for students to do University short-listing.
The service is currently available only for CS and E&TC students of Bombay and Pune universities. Other fields and locations will be added next year.
The founders of NextLeap wish to remain in stealth mode for a little while longer, but they are ex-Punekars, specifically ex-COEP graduates who have gone on to study in Stanford and MIT (the one in Boston). Pratik Munot, a ex-PICT student, and India Manager of NextLeap is based in Pune.
Being featured here because of both, the strong Pune connections, and because the service is likely to be of interest to PuneTech readers who are planning on applying for higher studies in the US this year.
If you use the service, please leave your feedback in the comments section below for the benefit of other readers.