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WhatNEXT – Will You Let Algorithms Take Lead Of Your College Search Hunt & Admissions?

By Debjit on February 2nd, 2012 

At the very peak of college admissions, students are often lost and need advice about the best college options for them. Although various search engines exist, and there are already established players in the industry, new ideas keep flowing. A new start-up WhatNeXT, currently operating in Maharashtra aims to become a complete and reliable college suggester engine website giving college suggestions covering nearly all aspects of the admission process.

College search engine at action on

College search engine at action on

Launched by Harshal Jain, Pradeep Chaudhari and Gaurish Chaudhri who are graduates from Pune’s College of Engineering, WhatNeXT is an online search engine that suggests colleges on the basis of various factors using an algorithm. Currently the service is only operating for engineering colleges in Maharashtra, but the trio plan to go national soon. A key factor is determining the success of WhatNeXT would be the reliability of the algorithm and a definite eye for detail. The website gives suggestions based on a student’s entrance exam score, sex, gender and other parameters, and goes a step further from college suggestions to also give details like fees, hostel intake etc.

The website has been built using jsp, Servlets , Spring for the core framework, for UI html, jquery and css, and for data integration  they used hibernate. The algorithm used in the service is straight-forward. Various parameters related to the student are taken along with his/her college preferences and this date is matched the historical data present in their database. After comparing, a list of college suggestions for the student is generated.

Launched within 15 days from the conception of the idea, the website has seen considerable traffic, owing to the fact that it was started around the time the entrance exam for engineering was to take place. A total of 6 lakh hits and queries came in, and the WhatNeXT team also held counselling sessions for about 100 students. College suggestions over SMS were available to those without internet access.

The huge amount of traffic they generated was one of the challenges they faced in the initial phase, along with having to learn certain many things about data and technology in run time. Adding to this, understanding and integrating the Maharashtra engineering admission procedure were tricky. They had to understand this process thoroughly.

The trio aims to take WhatNeXT pan India and cover as many fields of study as possible. They’re also looking for funding to scale up their service. “Our aim is to help every student in getting all the college related information at a cost of few clicks and at one place.” say the three founders. With so many hits already and plans to expand nationally, What NeXT is certainly an interesting start-up to look out for.



WhatNEXT – Will You Let Algorithms Take Lead Of Your College Search Hunt & Admissions? was originally published on on January 13, 2012 - 10:42 am (Indian Standard Time)