Apply online - through Facebook?

I have been trying to find a good prospective student recruitment application idea for Facebook. A requirement for the application is the need to tap into the social graph of each user. In other words, a user must be able to share his/her thoughts and experiences through the application with his/her friends.

While looking through applications, I came across the College Planner application by Embark. The College Planner application is a tool which allows prospective students to research and apply for schools without leaving their Facebook profile. I installed and played with it for a while. The execution of the tool isn't great, but I like the idea (I don't want to turn this into a review of the application, but rather a conversation on the idea).

At the very basic level, a prospective student can indicate a desired major or geographical region. The application will then provide a list of schools based on this information and what other users have selected.

Once a list of potential schools are selected, the student can then join mailing lists or even begin the online admissions application directly from his/her profile (I tested this with two schools, but Embark's servers were encountering errors).

That is where the power of this comes into play, and what makes the Facebook application platform so appealing -- the ability to bring your institution directly to the prospective student's profile. Imagine having the ability for students to submit an online application through Facebook, and then immediately be able to share that information with their friends. I wouldn't be surprised if we start to see more of this over the next few years.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue looking into prospective student recruitment Facebook applications. I could see something with online event registrations or major-picking tools, all of which may one day feed into a Facebook admissions application.

What university Facebook applications have you seen or used? May be somewhat likes Online education.


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