DateMySchool.com, the college dating website founded three years ago by two Columbia students, wants to answer a very old, yet very important, question: Where do attractive people go to college? Today, the site published its annual "hotness index," which claims to show where good-looking students like to congregate. According to this year's data, collected during the week before Valentine's Day from the site's 195,000 users — albeit from just 1,812 colleges — the "hottest" school is Indiana University of Pennsylvania. (For women, it's the University of Minnesota, Duluth; for men, it's also IUP.) And the "hottest" Ivy turned out to be Dartmouth College.
But wait — IUP?
It all comes down to something called the "hotness index," you see. DateMySchool's marketing director, Shreshth Dugar, told The Atlantic Wire on Thursday that the site divided the number of users who had uploaded and saved a picture of themselves by the number of profiles that other users on the same campus had bookmarked using the website's interface. This, Dugar said, reveals the "hotness index."
Fair warning: the numbers aren't exactly comprehensive, and this definitely more index than study. Though any student or alum of a four-year institution can sign up, DateMySchool is more popular on certain campuses — like Duluth, or NYU — and it's still growing.
Still, the the numbers the site has collected are even more revealing than last year. "Inherently, people save attractive people. It is their first instinct," Dugar explained, although he acknowledged that "attractive" doesn't necessarily imply physical beauty, a notion built into the index: "Hotness is subjective ... but the index gives a numerical evaluation which then can be used to compare one school to [another]." And Dugar warned not to look for a higher meaning from these numbers, which are likely affected by today's romantically themed holiday: "These are snap decisions, considering the amount of disproportionately high profiles an average user is visiting during this period, which is further validation of the fact that people are acting based on their reptilian cortex."
Here are a few handy charts illustrating the site's findings:
IUP = Indiana University of Pennsylvania; SVA = School of Visual Arts; FIT = Fashion Institute of Technology; LIU = Long Island University; GMU = George Mason University; FDU = Fairleigh Dickinson University; CCNY = City College of New York
CMU = Carnegie Mellon University
The Ivy League
Note: the chart above does not rank Ivies amongst each other, but indicates the hotness indices of each school's population of men and women. Dartmouth still tops Brown, according to the site.