College Raptor is helping students make smart, affordable college choices

For five years now, College Raptor has been helping students make informed decisions about which college to attend.

Launched in 2014, the Iowa City-based company works with hundreds of colleges and universities across the country, running the lists of prospect names through the company’s algorithm and identifying those most likely to be interested in their institution and most likely to apply.

“We’re helping colleges figure out how to communicate their affordability to families and helping families make more informed decisions,” said William Staib, co-founder and CEO of College Raptor.

The website uses information students provide about their families’ financial situations, school location preferences, likely majors and academic achievement, as well as public information and data from colleges, to create customized lists of college options for students and their families. It provides costs for every college in the country, and is the only platform that customizes those results to each student’s academic performance and family financial situation. 

Additionally, the site offers information about students’ likelihood of acceptance and how closely schools match their preferences when it comes to location and other factors.

Staib says he was inspired to start the website by watching his children go through the college selection process.

Today, the company is working with more than 150 colleges in 35 different states.

“Our website attracts about 6 million visitors per year,” said Staib. “And that number has grown 180% in the last year. “We’re a fairly large site here in Iowa and have a pretty good national presence of students, parents and others that use CollegeRaptor. We’re not just going quickly but growing well.”

Next month, College Raptor will be releasing its annual rankings of colleges. College Raptor’s rankings highlight the best schools in the country based on multiple factors including graduation rates, diversity, endowment per student,  and other key factors.

The rankings include lists such as the Top 50 Best Colleges in the US, the Top 25 Best Colleges in the Northeast, the Top 25 Best Small Colleges and the Top 25 Best Colleges with the Highest Graduation Rate.