On Campus

Plan to marry a lawyer? This site should help.

Dating website for students finds success in exclusivity

Photo courtesy of Kelley Mari on Flickr

DateMySchool.com wants you to know that, no, it’s not the same as Facebook and yes, it will come to Canada — eventually.

That’s good news if your plan is to meet a rich lawyer before the age of 30. Or just a nice girl from your school. Either way, the site could help you narrow your search.

DateMySchool is a quickly-growing American dating website that’s exclusively for students from exclusive schools. Many have likened it to Facebook and it’s easy to understand the comparison. The link spread to thousands of students at the Ivy-league school where it was launched in the first week in November 2010. Since it’s expansion to 140 universities, more than 20,000 students have signed up.

But it’s not the same as Facebook in that DateMySchool requires a valid university e-mail address to sign up. Also unlike Facebook, members are categorized mainly by their schools and programs — and not all students are invited. Only students from those 140 “exclusive” schools can join.

That helps a Harvard girl who really wants to find a nice Yale boy narrow down her search. It’s also useful for engineers who prefer nurses, or lawyers who want to meet other lawyers. And by refining the search along the lines of school and subject, it allows for access to a big pool of dateable strangers while silmultanously weeding out people who are of the wrong age or socioeconomic background.

Shreshth Dugar, the director of marketing, explains that the site started when Jean Meyer and Balazs Alexa were talking one day about the “lack of dateable women” in their male-heavy business school and Alexa’s girlfriend piped up, telling them that girls in her social work program couldn’t meet guys any more easily. They realized there was a demand for a new place to cross paths on campus.

Columbia’s Andy Lalinde and Michelle Pryzbyski are happy they found that place. When Lalinde was scrolling through the site one day, he recognized the photo of a lovely brunette who he’d seen walking around campus before. He had never worked up the courage to speak to her, but he suddenly knew she was single — and she responded to his message. Just ten days later, the couple married.