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College Prowler moves to the next level with Niche, K-12 school rankings

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October27/ 2013

College Prowler moves to the next level with Niche

Helping students pick the right colleges for themselves has been College Prowler’s sweet spot for 11 years running. So where does the successful Shadyside startup, one of the largest college content websites in the country, go from here?

Founder and CEO Luke Skurman has launched a new company and brand called Niche, a site that provides the same trusted in-depth reviews and analyses that has made College Prowler successful, but with expansive content for public and private schools across the U.S., kindergarten to 12th grade.

Luke Skurman, founder of College Prowler considers ‘bigger vision’

“It was time to think about a bigger vision and brand,” says Skurman, always the forward-thinking entrepreneur. “We’re very pleased with how far we’ve come. We want people to continue making great life decisions.”

Niche has amassed 400,000 user-generated reviews and has graded 80,000 public and private K-12 schools since its launch four months ago. More districts will be added with 120,000 public and private schools as the ultimate goal.

Families on the move–or merely interested in how their school district stacks up–will find information on popular high school classes, racial diversity, where students go to college, graduation rates and student-written reviews.

Many of the same students and parents who had generated reviews for College Prowler participated in the school district surveys, says Skurman. In addition to user-generated reviews, Niche draws on government databases and school administration surveys.

How Niche works

The K-12 school letter rankings—A, B, C, and D—are calculated by comparing a school’s assessment scores on state assessment tests with other schools in their state.

Impartial data, not advocacy

The point is not to become an advocacy group, but to report impartial data, Skurman says. “We want to keep tackling big life decisions…providing as much transparency, insight and clarity on the educational system as possible.”

Writer: Deb Smit

Source: Luke Skurman, Niche

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