Is Harvard really better than Yale? This startup may have the answer

Leo Mirani:

When American high school students—and foreign students keen on studying in the US—survey their choice of universities, they can consult one of any number of rankings and listings. Or they can trudge through the websites of dozens on colleges to make up their own minds. Either way, it’s a bit of a chore.

The website seeks to may make that process easier with a program that crawls through the thicket of available data and pulls out useful insights and comparisons. The startup’s co-founders, Raul Valdez-Perez, formerly a research faculty member at Carnegie Mellon’s computer science department, and his colleague Andre Lessa, collected data from several sources, chiefly the federal government, to create a database of each US university’s special characteristics. Type in a college name, and the website shows how it compares to its neighbors and peers, as well across lists.