Select the college enrollee profiles that are most likely to convert to a start, then shop online for leads that match your selected profile. Do it when you need leads.  No contracts and no minimum. No, we’re not kidding.

Posted on September 29, 2018

“After listening to lead vendors pitch to me several times a week for over five years, none of which converted as promised, I decided to create a lead source that I’d have given my right arm for back then,” said former private university CEO Joseph Schmoke. “Fortunately, I met a long time digital marketing executive, Barry Layne, who suggested we look at what was being done in other industries and adapt it for the higher education marketplace.” That led to the creation of higher ed’s first platform designed to effortlessly serve admissions departments at the thousands of US-based colleges and universities that want to increase enrollment and revenue.

Borrowing ideas from the likes of, eBay and other online transaction and matching services, Schmoke and Layne developed College Lead Exchange. This pioneering service does away with some of the irritating requirements set by traditional lead vendors. Layne says schools are not required to sign contracts. A college does not have to buy a minimum number of leads each month. “Buy what you want when you want. Buy one, none or a hundred. Once a day, once a month, or a few times a year. It’s up to the admissions team,” Schmoke said.

Maybe the best feature, according to Layne, is the ability to determine an admission team’s ideal enrollee profile, see if there are lead files in College Lead Exchange’s dynamic database that match the profile. The admissions officer can buy whatever number, at the stated prices, that the team needs to meet its enrollment goals. “The admissions team can change their criteria at will, online, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week,” Layne commented. He also said that to simplify financial arrangements, College Lead Exchange will offer automatic credit terms and bill the school on a net-30 basis.

The objective is to make it easy, simple and fast to obtain good leads at a fair price when you need them, said the College Lead Exchange founders. Schmoke uses an analogy that most people quickly grasp. He says “Say you are at home and you’re hungry. You know there’s nothing in the fridge or the cupboard, or what’s there you don’t want, so what do you do? You probably go to the grocery store, pick exactly what you want, buy it, and make something that satisfies your hunger. Same thing with College Lead Exchange. Only with the kind of leads you want instead of food.”

Schmoke and Layne know that this new service will take some time to be fully accepted by college and university admissions staffs. It’s very different from what these staffs have worked with for decades, and to many in higher education change is threatening if not frightening. “But there will be those who immediately see the advantage of this new platform and will step forward and incorporate it into their operations,” Schmoke suggested, “and we will do everything possible to help them benefit from its use.”

College Lead Exchange can be browsed for free, and admissions staffers are encouraged to register and see how many leads currently meet their criteria. Beginning in October lead inventory will change daily. There’s no cost or obligation to check it out, and Layne says “Come on, tell the platform what kind of leads you’re looking for. You don’t have to buy any.”

College Lead Exchange is part of the WhatsBestforMe, Inc. group of companies, which includes and and is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida in the Research & Development Park at Florida Atlantic University. They can be reached at 561-877-0071 or

Our 2018-2019 Best Value designation was awarded to 56 colleges and universities…but we did not, and never will, “rank” them.

Posted on September 25, 2018

With all the media attention to misinformation provided to U.S. News, which resulted in phony and undeserved rankings, we think it might be refreshing to learn that at least one organization refuses to play the ranking game.  In 2013 a group of former college presidents, CEOs, and provosts decided to create a recognition system that bucked the trend where everyone and their brother seems to be playing the ranking game. Now under the banner of WhatsBestforMe’s Best Value Schools, the refreshingly insightful analysis that was developed, results in a limited number of institutions that meet meaningful criteria like cost to attend, and importantly, students’ opinion of a particular school.

Former Andrew Jackson University CEO Joseph Schmoke says he always thought rankings were a fools’ game.  Recent shenanigans by schools, like forging student grades in their reports to U.S. News, proved him right. “We created our Best Value Awards to provide real-world information to prospective college students of all ages,” Schmoke said. One criterium his group uses is the sum of student comments, which must be better than 65% positive for a school to be considered for an award. “You would be surprised how many colleges were disqualified because their students and alumni didn’t have the required percentage of positive comments. “We of course ignored the usual students’ complaints, like ‘Financial aid didn’t get me enough money,’ that we deemed sour grapes.  But we read every comment we could gather,” Schmoke stated.

Examples of institutions that were designated Best Value after rigorous research include American College of Education, Trident University International and Wilmington College, three of the fifty-six awardees for 2018-2019. Details on these interesting institutions as well as the other Best Value Awardees can be found at, a site that is free for prospective students and also free for the colleges we list.


Sixth Year Selecting Best Value Colleges; Only 56 Made the Grade

Posted on September 11, 2018

In 2013 a small group of former college and university presidents, CEOs and executives decided they had enough of the various rankings published every year by “the usual suspects.”  Forming an organization called University Research & Review, they set out to ferret out good, reasonably priced but lesser-known institutions. Many of the thousand-plus schools were eliminated because of their high cost to attend; others because their students and alumni had less than complimentary things to say about their school.

The first year twenty-one colleges were awarded the University Research & Review Best Value School designation. For 2018-2019 there are fifty-six colleges and universities that withstood rigorous examinations and earned the Best Value designation. Further, the award branding was changed to WhatsBestforMe’s Best Value Colleges to more accurately reflect the Award’s original goal.  The goal was to offer suggestions to individuals of all ages interested in college that there are very good schools where students are happy and costs are reasonable.

Examples of 2018-2019 Best Value Awardees are two Saint Marys, one a college in Omaha, Nebraska one a university in Leavenworth, Kansas. They are both Catholic institutions but don’t want to be labeled “religious” as all faiths and ages are welcome at both schools. The College of Saint Mary is for women only. The University of Saint Mary is coed. Both institutions have an annual cost to attend in the $20,000 range, and our research indicates a great majority of students and alumni love the schools.

The full list of fifty-six colleges and universities can be found at and there is no cost to use the site and each institution selected does not pay for their selection or inclusion on the site..

We’ve Had This Conversation Before

Posted on August 30, 2018

As a parent, I know the frustration of providing guidance, insight, information, or directions over and over, and over again. But I’m not your father and yet, I still feel the need to repeat myself.


Ask the right questions when you interview colleges, professional or trade schools or any other form of higher education. Let me say that one more time: IT IS UP TO YOU TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.


Too many schools make this a one-sided process. They ask, you answer, they decide. What a quaint, outdated concept.


Here in the 21st Century, you have the tools and resources to know what you are getting into. Does what they offer in terms of areas of study meet your professional goals? How applicable are those programs in the real world? How are their graduates are doing two, three, ten years out — in terms of advancement AND earnings? And, are graduates current on their student loans?




If you cannot get a definitive answer to all those questions, please, very politely, say ‘Thanks but I think it’s time to go.’ And move on.


Which is why we’ve built both and gives you the power to register and tell schools what you want to study, if you will need financial aid and other benefits and if you have other benefits (GI Bill) or needs (faith-based programs).


www, tells you all about the qualities of a relatively small but impressive group of colleges. The site details the VALUE (not values) of the education offered…value in terms of cost, education, graduation rate, student feedback and quality of life; all assessed by folks who have done this for decades. Schools that make the list are NOT ranked, like some of the other sites you have heard of; rather they are acknowledged and awarded. You cannot purchase a Best Value College designation and the information about each school cannot be manipulated to impact their standing.


In both cases, the schools that are part of our platform will clearly and honestly answer these questions. It’s just one of the ways that we look out for you.




I am happy to repeat myself any time any of you forget.