Inspiration

Millions of international students around the globe experience difficulty when applying for foreign colleges. According to a recent study, the acceptance rate of international students into Ivy League schools is only around 5%, indicating the intense competition for students to get into their preferred universities. This issue is exacerbated by the insufficiency of important resources for boosting the application profiles of international students, including internships, competitions, volunteer work, and standardized tests among others. Acquiring scholarships is an additional struggle for them, as these are highly competitive and are sometimes still not enough to meet the high tuition fee requirements in their dream schools.

Due to these issues, our team was inspired to create a website named Education.ly, which would simplify the college admissions process by providing a platform with vast resources that can help international students find more educational opportunities to boost their college application profiles regardless of their socioeconomic background.

What it does

Education.ly includes four main pages that can help international students select the activities that can benefit their college admissions process.

Opportunities Finder

  • Provides a time zone offset converter for users to easily view extracurricular activities that are suited for their respective time zones
  • Allows users to search for available extracurricular activities such as internships, jobs, volunteer work, and competitions
  • Categorizes each activity according to time zone, potential role, the field of interest, location, and other significant details

Scholarship Finder

  • Offers a detailed selection of available scholarships for international students
  • Categorizes each scholarship based on eligible student type, scholarship amount, organizer, and university location among others

Standardized Test Prep

  • Enlists the available review programs that international students can participate in, including SAT, ACT, AP, and IB exam programs
  • Divides the programs according to the type of review offered and the price range
  • Provides important details on how to navigate useful review websites

Post Page

  • Displays the posted extracurriculars, scholarships, and review programs by fellow international students
  • Allows users to post their own educational opportunities to share with other students based on their selected categories

How we built it

Our team mainly developed Education.ly through Repl.it, where we used HTML, CSS, and JavaScript as our coding languages. We also used Qoom to design the signup forms for user registration and the promotion of available activities in the ‘Post’ page of Education.ly.

Challenges we ran into

  • Our team found it challenging to enable the smooth operation of the filtered search function due to difficulties in implementing the Javascript code. However, we focused on narrowing down the category types for the extracurriculars and scholarships to further improve this function in the future.
  • The time zone converter was also a difficult feature to code for the website, due to the wide scope of time zones that the users might have. Thus, we currently used Greenwich Mean Time as the main basis of the time zone conversion and to avoid errors in this specific feature.

Accomplishments that we’re proud of

We’re proud of being able to develop a well-functioning website especially given the time restraints of the hackathon. Given that our team members have different skills in coding, researching, and designing, we’re glad to be able to coordinate with each other and create a project that can impact our personal lives and students all around the world. Additionally, this project made us hopeful and more determined to provide more opportunities for international students and help them get the education that they truly deserve.

What we learned

Our team learned a lot about the different dimensions of HTML, CSS, and Javascript as we developed the various functions of the website such as the extracurriculars list, the time zone converter, and the ‘Post Opportunities’ page. We also gained more knowledge about the situation of international students and how we could support them through the research that we conducted for the website. This experience definitely challenged us to go beyond our comfort zones and try out new things that would greatly benefit us in the long term as we continue to pursue projects that would help other students, the youth, and society in general.

What's next for Education.ly

The website could be further developed by enhancing the filtered search function to allow students to easily view their preferred extracurriculars, scholarships, and review programs. Additionally, the dashboard could be improved by allowing it to update the information based on the user’s visited pages and registered programs. Education.ly could also coordinate with professional educational organizations to further promote the services offered by the website.

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