Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Are You in Favor of an Elitist College Dating Site?

Jean Meyer, a 28-year-old business student at Columbia University recognized a need for an online dating site for college kids, because, as he said, this generation of college students has “so many new ways of communicating, yet [is] so alone. So, in November, he launched DateMySchool.com, a site that’s not only restricted only to those with .edu e-mail addresses, but also only to students at Columbia University, New York University, University of California at Berkeley, Stanford, and the Fashion Institute of Technology (because, Mr. Meyer said, “a friend convinced him that there were a lot of attractive women there.”). In April, membership will also expand to students at Boston University, Harvard and M.I.T. Sorry, if you’re a student at the University of Tampa, you’re outta luck.

In addition to swimming in an elite dating pool, site users can also “choose which schools and programs can view their online profiles, which remain invisible to all others,” a feature the founders believe decreases “the embarrassment associated with online dating.” One 24-year-old site member from Columbia’s film school said, β€œThe selectivity can sound a bit shallow. I have a friend who is visible only to law, business, engineering and med students at Columbia. One could say she wants to meet men who have a solid, lucrative future ahead of them, but I also think she wants to meet men who are responsible, men who have a plan, know themselves and know what they want from life.”

So, what do you think of such an elite dating site? Cast your vote in the poll below.

[polldaddy poll=”4632729″]
[via New York Times]

56 comments… add one
  • bittergaymark

    bitter gay mark February 28, 2011, 3:11 pm

    Actually, this is EXACTLY what Facebook was originally supposed to be…

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      RoyalEagle0408 February 28, 2011, 3:14 pm

      Yup.

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      TheGirl February 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

      That is definitely true – you originally had to have a .edu email address to join and they had that whole stupid poke button thing so you could ‘flirt’ without sending a friend request…

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        sarolabelle February 28, 2011, 4:28 pm

        And if you remember Facebook started with the whole “here for” and one of the choices was Relationship and at that time you could search for everyone on the site that was looking for a relationship. They have since gotten rid of that.

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    RoyalEagle0408 February 28, 2011, 3:15 pm

    Not to get all elitist or anything, but BC is more on par with Harvard and MIT than BU. And the student body is more attractive.

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      sarolabelle March 1, 2011, 12:17 am

      obviously not a lot of BC fans here…

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      RoyalEagle0408 March 1, 2011, 11:51 am

      Or apparently people who get veiled sarcasm and joking bias.

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    TheGirl February 28, 2011, 3:29 pm

    I don’t remember dating in college being all that difficult… Is it really that tough to find eligible guys in college these days?

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      Painted_lady February 28, 2011, 3:58 pm

      I wonder if it’s more frequented by extremes, as in people with really impossibly high standards or those poor kids who don’t know how to get a date to save their lives, the ones who hope to get married during college and the ones who want to sleep around as much as humanly possible.

      I joined what I thought was a facebook-type site in college, which turned out to be a dating site specifically for my school, and I ran into some guys I knew, and most fell into the can’t-get-a-date-IRL guys and massive whores, so I would imagine it’s something like that.

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        TheGirl February 28, 2011, 4:10 pm

        That must be it, because I never had any problems finding guys to go out with. I’m not trying to toot my own horn or anything – I would consider myself an extremely average looking girl. I just got out and went to parties, tried out for plays, joined clubs, etc. I also was NOT looking for a husband at 19 or 20 years old, so maybe that’s where these guys are going wrong…

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      RoyalEagle0408 February 28, 2011, 4:03 pm

      I think a lot of my friends would have loved a site like this. A lot of them have used online dating and when we were in college it would have been great to have a better way to meet people at your own college. I find that I meet classmates at alumni functions or just out in the real world and it’s amazing how few people I actually met during college.

      So vote me down all you want, but a college specific dating site is a great idea. I don’t really care what schools it’s open to, but I do like the idea of only allowing certain schools to see your info (though I think it’s pretty shallow to eliminate certain majors…).

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      Spark February 28, 2011, 8:34 pm

      I think it definitely is. I graduated a few years ago, but the “dating culture” in college was non-existent. People hooked up all the time, people “hung out,” etc.–and sometimes it led to relationships–but it was rare for people to go on dates. No one in college, it seems, dates to find love or a relationship. They search for NSA fun and sex, and sometimes it leads to more, but often it doesn’t. However, I think that underneath it all, college kids ARE searching for love and relationships. They just don’t/can’t come out and say that. Girls are labeled clingy, repressed, non-feminist, stereotypical, etc. if they want a boyfriend. Guys are labeled too.

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    ladiejoy February 28, 2011, 3:32 pm

    I’d say if you own a dating site you can open it or close it to whomever you want, elitist or not. I can see the appeal of it for those that would use it, though. No different from Christian dating sites, or black dating sites, etc.

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      RoyalEagle0408 February 28, 2011, 3:35 pm

      And as someone who went to a school which should have been included, I have to say that it definitely would have helped in college. Or even now that I’m a young alum. The bar scene is so hit or miss and it’s nice to be able to weed out guys who are just creepsters and find people at your own school even.

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        spaceboy761 February 28, 2011, 4:43 pm

        How many Tufts students does it take to screw in a light bulb?

        Three. One to screw in the light bulb, and two to loudly yell that he did it JUST AS WELL AS ANY HARVARD STUDENT COULD HAVE!!!

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        Spark February 28, 2011, 8:49 pm

        What do you mean by “should have been included?” The schools chosen seem almost random to me, so I’m not sure that anyone can say that a given school “should” have been selected.

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        RoyalEagle0408 February 28, 2011, 9:04 pm

        @Spark- BC and BU are bitter, bitter rivals. So yeah, if an “elite” anything picks BU, any BC student/alum will whine. It’s in our DNA. πŸ˜‰

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    awendybird February 28, 2011, 3:41 pm

    “Hell yeah. It’s saves me the time of weeding out all the losers who go to state school or major in psychology.”

    I’m a little offended! Guess I’m a loser for going to UMD and majoring in psych. 😐

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      callmehobo February 28, 2011, 3:49 pm

      I think it’s easy to get offended by this kind of stuff. I got accepted to a prestigious private college, but ended up going to a state school due to monitary reasons. So it feels really sucky whenever someone (no matter whether you know them or not) snubs their noses at you because of the institution you study at.

      Don’t take it personally! We’re still gonna be college graduates. And I bet you’re awesome at psychology!

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        awendybird February 28, 2011, 3:53 pm

        Yeah, I actually was accepted to BU so I would have been included in this elitist site if money wasn’t an issue.

        I’m not really offended, but thanks for telling me I’m awesome anyway! πŸ™‚

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    • Firegirl32

      Firegirl32 March 1, 2011, 10:13 am

      UMM here…English Lit…Guess I should be offended too. πŸ˜‰ Ha!

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    Maracuya February 28, 2011, 3:42 pm

    My alma mater should be there. I think a dating site would be a big hit πŸ˜›

    Honestly, I feel like a dating site for new, young grads would be better. A lot of my single friends say that dating after college is harder because nobody they work with is in their age range/they’re working all the time so it’s harder to meet new people. But I guess that’s just dating.

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      TheGirl February 28, 2011, 3:52 pm

      I agree – I think college is when it’s EASY to meet people your own age. Everyone’s just thrown together and are usually within 4-6 years of each other in age. You can join one of hundreds of clubs to meet people. It’s after college that it gets tough.

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      Spark February 28, 2011, 8:50 pm

      That’s a good idea!

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      Lydia March 1, 2011, 8:58 am

      As a 23 year old working with all 30+ and 40+ people, I can totally commiserate! I mean, I do have a boyfriend now, but only because I used a dating site to meet him.

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        Maracuya March 1, 2011, 10:38 am

        Yeah, some of my girlfriends moved to a new city for their post-grad jobs and I sympathize with them–most people are married, almost all of them have kids. I have a boyfriend, but we were friends before we ever were in a relationship. So I have lvl 0 dating skills. πŸ™‚

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    Painted_lady February 28, 2011, 3:43 pm

    None of the above. I think being a student at one of these colleges doesn’t necessarily mean anything. I mean, internet dating ended up being hugely disappointing for me, and yet I also think limiting yourself – for shallow OR nonshallow reasons – to specific demographics that aren’t necessarily indicators of either future wealth or of the high goals or self-knowledge Wendy spoke of, nor are the people who fall into that demographic the only people who will have that sort of future success. Again, if you want to limit yourself, that’s your business, but as hard as it is to find a good relationship in the first place, why would you limit yourself with such arbitrary standards?

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    MissDre February 28, 2011, 4:01 pm

    I have to say, while this may be great for some, I think it is really limiting like Painted Lady said! You never know who could turn out to be the love of your life… if you close the door to dating people in various fields you may miss out on someone really special!

    I should know… for years I was very closed minded about the type of guys I would date. I had a list of qualities such as type of education, major, style of dress, hairstyle etc. And I never had much luck. I was just about to give up on dating (specifically online dating) and then, for whatever reason, I decided to give this one guy a shot… he was completely different than anyone I’d previously considered dating. I thought what the hell, I’ll give it a try.

    And, he turned out to be the most amazing guy I’ve ever dated! I can’t even remember what was so special about all those engineers in sweater vests… Who knows if he and I will last forever, but for now I am so happy! And if I hadn’t opened my mind to meeting someone different, we never would have met!

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    DiDo February 28, 2011, 4:09 pm

    Dating websites, and dating in general, is shallow. Before you go on a date with someone, you make snap judgments about them … are they attractive? how old are they? did they go to college? what do they do? This website is just more upfront about it. Still, I would feel a little pretentious joining this site.

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    spaceboy761 February 28, 2011, 4:40 pm

    I hope that Jean’s business plan involves building a time machine, because this has been done since since 2004:

    http://www.thesquare.com

    I actually used The Square a few years ago and I thought it was better any other dating site out there. Overachievers tend to dig overachievers anyway. I don’t see any moral dilemma. They have dating sites dedicated to most religious and ethnic groups, so why not?

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  • bittergaymark

    bitter gay mark February 28, 2011, 4:40 pm

    Look, here’s my take. If snobs ONLY want to date other snobs…then won’t we ALL be better off if it’s only THAT much easier for them to find one another?

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    Mainer February 28, 2011, 5:03 pm

    TODAY’S TOP STORY: Admissions offices at Columbia University, New York University, University of California at Berkeley, Stanford, the Fashion Institute of Technology, Boston University, Harvard and M.I.T have all reported a sharp spike in applications for their undergraduate and graduate programs, siting a “higher than normal” increase in male applicants, primarily between the ages of 40 and 63, who have decided to go back for another degree. When asked specifically what academia they were going to pursue, none of the applicants were available for comment.

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    ArtsyGirly February 28, 2011, 5:07 pm

    Ok here is my 2c. I went to a Big 10 undergraduate state school which was voted as the #1 Party school in the country. After I finished my undergrad I went to en elite private university known as the place where ‘fun goes to die’ – you can guess the culture shock. I have to say from my experience that students at the small University were always conscience and aware of their supposed status for being in the institute. One undergrad actually scoffed when he found out I had gone to a (horror) state school! Snobbery often is a sign of insecurity. In truth I felt that the classes were actually less instructing because the teachers were so focused on their research and would often pit students against each other.
    So I feel that if which school or program attended matters to you in your partner choice this website works – it is the same as the Pretty Person dating site or the Indian arranged marriage one.

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      RoyalEagle0408 February 28, 2011, 5:23 pm

      I know where you went to school!!

      I kind of got a snobbish vibe from some of the people where you went to grad school.

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      ArtsyGirl March 1, 2011, 10:52 am

      The snobbery was most pronounced among the undergrads rather then the grads since we were in the humanities and knew we were racking up TONS of debt to be barely employable since we were Humanities students. I think for some people the school you attend really matters for the years you are there and then it just isn’t that big of deal when you get into the work force. You don’t normally ask people where they went to college unless you are talking about school programs – and in my experience the best education does not necessarily instill a good work ethic.

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        ArtsyGirl March 1, 2011, 10:54 am

        sorry little redundant – happy to report I studied Art History and not English Lit

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      RoyalEagle0408 March 1, 2011, 11:53 am

      Okay, not really sure why my comment desired to be voted down, but whatever…

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        ArtsyGirl March 2, 2011, 9:59 am

        I hate when people vote me down and then don’t explain why – at least it is agree and disagree rather than TF’s like/dislike which seems harsher

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    Morgan February 28, 2011, 5:10 pm

    There are so many of these things…I got one the other day for something called Ivydate, sent I’m sure to every ivy’s email list they could get their hands on. I think its dumb, though one of my friends said it best, “I am appalled at the thought. And kinda curious”

    In general, college is so dominated by the hook up scene, people don’t know where to find someone to actually date. Binge drink with and then sleep together, sure. Dinner and a movie not so much.

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      RoyalEagle0408 February 28, 2011, 5:21 pm

      The hook-up college is why I think it’s great for helping people meet people interested in dating _at their own college_.

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        Morgan February 28, 2011, 9:53 pm

        I agree with the at your own school thing, certainly. I have no desire to get set up with some rando from Columbia. I disagree that the hookup culture helps you meet people interested in dating. While there are people out there looking for a relationship and hooking up in the meantime or as a way to find it, at my school at least most of the people who go out looking for a hookup at a party are looking for a one night thing, or a semi regular hookup buddy, but not a relationship. And certainly not an actual, real person date. A beer pong date, maybe.

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        RoyalEagle0408 March 1, 2011, 11:55 am

        I meant the hook-up culture is why I think _the site_ is a great idea to help people meet other people interested in dating.

        As an alum of a college with a prevalent hook-up culture, I in no way think that helps you date.

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        Morgan March 1, 2011, 1:05 pm

        Oh, sorry, misread you. As someone from a school with a hook up culture as well, I agree completely then.

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    demoiselle February 28, 2011, 5:44 pm

    To me, it doesn’t seem that different than placing a classified in a magazine which is targeted to a certain audience–a smart strategy. If it were excluding due to race, religion, economic class, it could be really uncomfortable, but how is this different than inter-college mixers and the like?

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    sarolabelle February 28, 2011, 5:46 pm

    Hey says people are alone – yet he creates a site that will make people have yet another excuse to not go out there and do something about their aloneness? If you don’t want people to be alone then open a bar.

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    Sara February 28, 2011, 7:21 pm

    I’m not sure I’d want to date someone who cared so much about my college background, so it’s fine with me if those that care about my college background segregate themselves from the dating pool for me!

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    thefierycrash February 28, 2011, 11:32 pm

    i went to a small private christian college, in kansas, with about 250 students for my first 3 years… you want to talk about having a hard time finding someone to date?! not to mention all the guys wanted to go into christian ministry so there goes the thought of marrying rich… just kidding but really. we were all swimming in the same cesspool of potential husbands. thank god i got out single. i just laugh thinking of the christian version of this. “i want a youth ministry major with his roots in the church of christ non-instrumental. if he believes in instruments, he’s not for me.”

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    moonflowers March 1, 2011, 2:44 am

    I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’m on this site. It’s been a while since I felt brave enough to start dating again (bad breakup), and since I’m also a poverty-stricken grad student with no car, it’s just easier for me to limit potential dates to my campus and nearby schools.

    That being said, the article wa somewhat misleading, and the uber-private nature of the site isn’t helping, but it is not limited to only those schools cited. The SF Bay Area version includes local state schools (CSU East Bay, San Jose State), the public UCs (Cal, Davis, SF), and private schools (Stanford, Santa Clara). It’s really not all that exclusive unless you count the community colleges, but that’s a really different demographic.

    I have to second the lack of dating culture on college campuses. People don’t seem to go on real dates anymore, just hangouts and hookups. It’s also really hard as a grad student to meet folks in other departments because there aren’t a lot of good ways to organically mix, aside from big impersonal parties. Folks are just super lonely, and it’s not a bad thing, I think, if a site like this helps people who’d otherwise be holed up in lab or a basement somewhere meet people outside their field of study.

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      moonflowers March 1, 2011, 2:46 am

      Ack! Sorry!

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    moonflowers March 1, 2011, 2:44 am

    I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’m on this site. It’s been a while since I felt brave enough to start dating again (bad breakup), and since I’m also a poverty-stricken grad student with no car, it’s just easier for me to limit potential dates to my campus and nearby schools.

    That being said, the article was somewhat misleading (omission), and the uber-private nature of the site isn’t helping, but it is not limited to only those schools cited. The SF Bay Area version includes local state schools (CSU East Bay, San Jose State), the public UCs (Cal, Davis, SF), and private schools (Stanford, Santa Clara). It’s really not all that exclusive unless you count the community colleges, but that’s a really different demographic.

    I have to second the lack of dating culture on college campuses. People don’t seem to go on real dates anymore, just hangouts and hookups. It’s also really hard as a grad student to meet folks in other departments because there aren’t a lot of good ways to organically mix, aside from big impersonal parties. Folks are just super lonely, and it’s not a bad thing, I think, if a site like this helps people who’d otherwise be holed up in lab or a basement somewhere meet people outside their field of study.

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    evanscr05 March 1, 2011, 7:55 am

    I think it’s a great idea. If this had been around when I was in college, and was open to more universities, I might have signed up. Even though you’re surrounded by thousands of students every day, there are people you wouldn’t have crossed paths with and this is a great tool to widen your prospects. Really, though, it’s no different than any other dating site. I met my fiance on e-harmony and it had a similar philosophy of picking traits important to me and then only people who fit those traits could see my profile (although, on e-harmony you can’t search, profiles are just provided to you, which I actually preferred). I think most people have preferences with age ranges, education, etc. so I don’t think this is that revolutionary.

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  • becboo84

    BecBoo84 March 1, 2011, 10:55 am

    Dude, if you can’t meet people to date in college, that is not a good sign for what your post-college dating life is going to look like.

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    belongsomewhere March 1, 2011, 2:38 pm

    I go to a small and well-respected but relatively unknown (though highly regarded by those who do know of it) NYC liberal arts school, and I think the notion of deeming certain schools “elite” is disgusting. Of course, this is coming from a person who, though “Ivy material,” actively refused to participate in the Ivy admissions game (my opinion of the Ivies and other “elite” schools is rather low, to be honest), and thinks college ranking lists are absolute evil. So, that part of me thinks this borders on offensive.

    However, I think the idea of a dating site only for college students that allows you to filter results by academic interests and career goals is a fantastic idea. I can think of a few good reasons for it, besides ensuring that anyone you date will have a lucrative future career. This feature could, potentially, guarantee that the people you date won’t be ignorant of or insensitive to complex identities (sexuality, racial identity, etc.). It could ensure that you’ll have something to talk about on a first date (“So, what do you think about Judith Butler?”). And, if you limit the range of results to people with similar career goals, it may be safe to assume that you’ll agree that waiting to have children until after you’ve settled in at a law firm and he’s finished his residency would probably be a good idea.

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      moonflowers March 1, 2011, 5:44 pm

      As I (double-) posted above, the site isn’t claiming to be elite, and definitely doesn’t discriminate. In fact, in the menu where you choose which schools can see your profile, there’s a reminder not to be too restrictive!

      And I agree on the whole elite schools thing – I was a community college student before I transferred to my current, “elite” school. I didn’t suddenly change and become “elite” in a year; that taught me that admissions is a bit of a crapshoot, and who you are matters more than what people label you as.

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    anna728 March 6, 2011, 7:46 pm

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this. I have never used a dating site, but the idea of limiting who can see it seems good, especially when it is maybe embarrassing. Obviously my first choice would be someone from my own school, and as far as schools go distance matters too. I think the part about majors is useful, too- and not just to those seeking to snare a rich husband. I don’t want to make too big of a generalization, but the average Women’s Studies student, the average Comp Sci student, and the average Business student are quite different. Without listing what in particular, there are some departments that I am less likely to like the people in. Or maybe I want to date someone at my school, but don’t want to date someone in the same program as my ex because they would know each other, etc.

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    Jess May 26, 2011, 11:14 am

    As a relatively well-educated member of the lower class, I think that this idea is ridiculous if you’re merely looking for an intellectual peer. Not going to a top school doesn’t automatically mean that someone is less intelligent or even less ambitious, just like going to a top school doesn’t mean that someone is going to be a refined genius.
    There are plenty of intellectuals going to state schools just as there are plenty of obnoxious and crude boys who don’t pay attention in class going to top schools.
    I think that a dating service like this would do nothing more than ensure that all potential dating partners are wealthy, which seems pretty shallow.

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