Posted by Sarah Barry and Sandy Zhang
For those frustrated by the limited romantic offerings in their schools, DateMySchool may be the apt solution. DateMySchool.com specifically caters to only undergraduates, graduates, and alumni users to provide a virtual way to meet social peers from schools across the country.
On October 19 DMS expanded to 600 colleges and universities nationwide. "We're extending usage to become what we really are: a platform to discover new people online. We plan to expand to even more colleges and universities in the U.S and, eventually, we plan to expand internationally," said Melanie Wallner, public relations director of DMS.
Two MBA classmates at Columbia University, Balazs Alexa and Jean Meyer, founded the website, which launched in Nov. 2010. "Within a week, 5 percent of Columbia's student body signed up. We expanded to NYU a month later and, today, over 25 percent of Columbia and NYU students are on DMS," Wallner said.
Perhaps the most useful feature of the website is that it allows users to pick and choose the qualities that are important to them. One can search for potential suitors by school, major, graduate program, religion, age, height etc. For example, if someone only wants to date people who are enrolled in Columbia Business School and are between 20 and 25 years old, then anyone without these traits will not appear in a search.
"They [Alexa and Meyer] came up with DMS after a girl in the nursing school complained about her department being 90 percent female. They were in the business school, which was 80 percent male. They realized that there was a bigger market – lots of students want to meet across departments and campuses," Wallner said.
Similar to Facebook in its early stages, DateMySchool only allows those with an email address ending in .edu to become members. In other words, only if you are associated with an educational institution are you allowed to join.
According to the website, this restriction of email address creates a safer virtual environment to those who hold qualms about meeting with any stranger with an Internet connection. Members are also unsearchable on Google, and DateMySchool does not require a fee from its members.
The networking and dating service has expanded to schools in hubs like Washington, D. C., Boston, Miami, Los Angeles and San Diego. "Extensive press coverage, including CNN, The New York Times, The Huffington Post and Time Out NY, have helped us reach over 55,00 members," Wallner said.
"Whether for dating, relational or study purposes, DMS is the go-to place to discover new friends, not necessarily to connect with old ones," Wallner said.
To find out more information or to register for DMS visit DateMySchool.com