Alumnus aims to help students with college admissions Web site

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    University Drive isn’t just a street name anymore.

    TCU alumnus Marc Istook co-created a Web site by the same name in order to offer prospective college students some guidance in choosing a university, as well as some helpful tips for settling into college life.

    Istook said he and co-creator Shannon Meairs, a Pepperdine University graduate, have been working on the project for three years. The Web site was launched in early March, he said.

    The Web site contains external links to helpful articles from universities and news sources. It walks users through the decision to go to college, what standardized test options students have and finally, how to choose a college, get accepted, make good grades and pay for it all.

    “We hope to make it a full-fledged college admission resource,” Istook said.

    In addition to articles, the Web site displays a series of webisodes, or short Internet videos, covering topics such as what to look for when visiting a prospective school and how to decorate dorm rooms.

    Istook wrote, edited, shot, hosted and produced the webisodes, and said they are segments from a DVD they hope to distribute to schools and bookstores.

    “It is a for-profit venture with a socially responsible angle,” Istook said. “For every DVD we sell, we will put one at a school or educational institution.”

    Istook said the company created a Facebook page in order to promote the Web site. So far, he said, there have been several thousand hits, but there is no way of knowing how many students have actually been helped by the service yet.

    Raymond Brown, dean of admissions at TCU, wrote in an e-mail that he was impressed by the Web site.

    “As a whole, it seems to re-inject some sanity in a process that has become all too often angst-ridden,” Brown wrote. “I’m delighted a TCU person is responsible for producing this. It’s very well done.”

    The Web site can be accessed at www.universitydrive.com.