Have you ever been on a date with someone and discovered their alma mater isn’t even ranked in U.S. News + World Report top 80? It’s a real reverse panty-dropper, right, ladies?
Fortunately, Alex Furmansky, founder of dating site Sparkology, has a solution for keeping out the riff raff. “Everyone is required to have a college degree, but we force all of our men to also be verified grads of top universities,” he says.
Right now, that list includes around the top 80 schools on U.S. News‘ rankings, plus some international and regional schools. No word on where currently unranked George Washington falls (Update, 2:35 p.m.: Sparkology tells me that GWU grads are welcome after all).
“It’s about coming from a good institution and knowing that this person has a good head on their shoulders, and that’s what women want,” Furmansky says.
In another effort to avoid letting members inadvertently date hoi polloi, Sparkology only accepts users who are referred by existing members—-or, alternately, apply on Facebook or LinkedIn. Unlike rival niche dating site What’s Your Price, which makes interested men pay women to go on dates with them, Sparkology men only have to pay to send messages to women—-around $2 to $4 a pop, according to Furmansky.
Don’t expect some quick action from one of Sparkology’s few hundred D.C. members, though. When asked to rank Sparkology on a 10-point scale of users’ desire to settle down with someone they meet on the site, with 1 being Craigslist and 10 being eHarmony, Furmansky settled on a 6.5.
“Our whole mantra is about meaningful interaction,” he says. “So we’re definitely not a hook-up site.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery