Prospective college students hoping to hear about life beyond the classroom can now visit a newly launched Web site for the inside scoop., an online student forum that pools a representative population of students from 225 of the top campuses across the nation, is designed to host students’ input on academic and extracurricular life at their respective universities. Since its September debut, the site has grown to include thousands of posted student reviews. Currently, there are 177 reviews of UCSB on Unigo.

Unigo’s founder and CEO Jordan Goldman said he created the site to fill what he saw as a void in the resources available to students trying to find the right college.

“When I was applying to colleges, I was looking at all the resources available,” Goldman said. “The guide books that were available then had very little student input. I decided that I wanted to create a guide book that was written 100 percent by students.”

Goldman said more enrolled college students and potential college applicants are beginning to take interest in his new forum. Some featured colleges have close to 10 percent of their student body contributing to Unigo’s content, he said.

“We have only been live for one month, but we’ve already had over a quarter of a million people visit the site,” Goldman said. “We knew that if we could get students from all over the country to weigh in, then we would have something that’s highly interactive and robust.”

According to Jay Healy, a first-year English major, the key advantage of Unigo is that prospective students can learn about aspects of campus life from students who are actually living it.

“If this was available last year when I was applying to schools I would have been stoked,” Healy said. “The college guide books did nothing for me – I just pretty much went by what I heard from people I knew that went to school here.”

Goldman said the Web site is also able to provide more up to date information than other college guides, as most students have provided information from the last six months.

“The site is free, and we are able to offer much more content than any of the available college guide books,” Goldman said. “Before now, you would have to pay for a book that would maybe only offer you a fraction of this information.”

Unigo also offers photographs, videos and even students’ papers, Goldman said.

“The site is also a full social network,” Goldman said. “It’s networking, but it’s networking around content. Students can exchange pictures, video, upload notes and view academic papers as well.”

According to Mike Castillo, a first-year business economics major, the information on the Web site is just as valuable to incoming students as are details of a university’s academic reputation.

“Teachers and counselors always talk to you about majors and academic goals,” Castillo said. “That’s why incoming students have no idea what to expect. It’s way better to just talk to students about what the campus is like.”