As a college applicant, it was a hassle to fill out applications during the pandemic. It was tedious and time-consuming to organise all required document and continuously verify them. The virtual paradigm made it all the more difficult for me to smoothly interact with my counselor. This project was made to become a one-stop college app portal for students and counsellors.
What it does
Since it's a two-way portal, it has both a counselor and a student side. Students can add and store things like essays, activities, transcripts, LORs, scores and so much more. Instead of scuffling around for documents, this acts as an all-in-one portal to smoothen the journey. We have also developed a counselor side, wherein counsellors can login send invites to their students and hence review their profiles. Our main aim is to make this a popular platform for both parties to use when filling in college applications.
How I built it
The entire project is built in Django. After taking a couple of online courses, I built my knowledge of web development with python and I put it to test using this hackathon. The database used was Postgresql. Evrything was developed in-house. I used a small API to aggregate college data on the website for students to make their personalised college lists.
Challenges I ran into
Initially, I had a lot of problems into creating the student to counsellor invite section in a secure manner. I tried to use Django sockets, but they didn't work out. Eventually, I created a simple algorithmic way to do the same. Another problem I ran into was creating basic UI. Not being a front-end designer, it was a challenge to have an appealing front-end. I stuck to the basics with my colors and structure. Lastly, my main platform for deployment is DigitalOcean, but due to the expenses I decided to try out Heroku which again became a small hurdle for me to overcome.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I am proud of the fact that this project can help students like me have much more stress-free and smooth college app process. Furthermore, I feel happy about the fact that I was able to complete this project end-to-end in under 3 days.
What I learned
I learned a lot about Django as well. Researching about concepts online, I expanded my knowledge base which I know should be key for the future.
What's next for Collaborate on College
Adding more features, functionality and fixing the UI I am now looking out to partner with schools and counselling centers to distribute it and make it all the more popular and usable.
Note: Kepler Developers is just a made-up thing I like to title with in all my dev. projects. I also changed the name of the project after development to A2C-Connect