Sadly, there is no ‘easy button’ for applying to college.
Even SAT prep classes, countless extracurricular activities, and endless hours refining essays won’t guarantee admission to a top school.
While there may not be an ‘easy button,’ there is now an easythanks platform.
The Atlanta-based artificial intelligence startup, run by co-founders Simms Jenkins and Amber Fawlkes Brinkman, wants to help college-bound students write the emails they need to stand out during the application process.
Email is a crucial part of the application process. Timely (but time-consuming) follow ups to admissions officers could be the difference between getting off the waitlist at a competitive university. Easythanks’ AI can help students keep track of notes sent to different schools and craft the correct message that ensures admissions officers have the details necessary to make a decision.
AI In College Apps
Shortly after ChatGPT rolled out to the public in late 2022, there was no shortage of debate focused on how generative AI might negatively impact the college classroom experience. While some worried about plagiarism and cheating scandals, others quickly realized it would become an important tool for students. Georgia Tech, a top engineering school in the country, announced late last year students could use generative AI platforms during the application process in specific ways.
Easythanks hopes to grow as a go-to AI tool in the competitive collegiate space. Students and parents can start using the platform for $9.99 a month.
Jenkins acquired easythanks through his investment and consulting arm Three Groves. A startup veteran, Jenkins built up his career in the email innovation space. He previously founded email & eCRM agency Brightwave (acquired by Ansira) in 2002 and email intelligence company EiQ in 2016.
He told Hypepotamus that while AI is “powerful but intimidating,” he was looking for ways to make the emerging technology more accessible. The need to integrate AI-assisted technology into college applications became clear to him when he went through that grueling process with his oldest son.
He is purposely not raising outside funding as he looks to scale easythanks. But he doesn’t believe that the technology is limited to college applications.
The reality is that there are many points in a person’s life where follow up is crucial and a “user needs to stay in front of somebody,” be it a job recruiter or potential client. That opens up new opportunities for easythanks to grow moving forward, added Jenkins.
THE “COLLEGE TECH” WORLD
The reality is that the college application process gets more competitive each year. 1,244,476 applications were sent to 841 colleges participating in the Common App in 2023 alone. That represents a 21% increase from 2019.
As the number of college applications grows, so too do the number of college-focused tech startups. The Southeast alone is home to many such “College Tech” startups like easythanks. Others include StudentBridge (virtual student enrollment solutions platform), Funding U (a merit-based student loan services startup), and BestFit (student retention platform).