Coursicle, a course registration tool that alerts users about open class space, became available on November 5 for Cornell students.
Just in the first three days after launching at Cornell, the number of Cornell students using the app has risen to 150, according to Joe Puccio from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who co-founded the app with Harvard graduate Tara Aida.
Jesse Potts ’21 is one of the 29 Cornell students who requested Coursicle add support for Cornell. Even though Coursicle became available after pre-enrollment was over, he said he still looks forward to using the app.
“It was put up after pre-enrollment, and I had already enrolled in my courses. But I am excited to use the notification feature [in the future]. I think it’s going to very helpful,” he said.
Puccio said he created the app during his freshman year after being frustrated with the inefficient enrollment system. In order to make course registration easier, Coursicle allows students to select the courses they want to enroll in and will send out a notification once a space has been opened up in one of the classes.
In addition, students can log into Facebook and see what courses their Facebook friends have added to their schedules.
The app quickly gained momentum at UNC, attracting 900 users in the first semester and 1,800 in the next. Given the app’s rising popularity, Puccio began introducing it to other colleges in 2015.
Puccio built the app using publicly available course data from each school. He said he was “surprised” to find that almost every college in the United States makes its course catalogue public.
“Cornell is pretty unique in that it [appears to] want students to create an extension to their existing system,” Puccio said, adding that the University’s API has made his retrieval of course information easier.
According to Puccio, student demand for the app is still on the rise. On average, the company receives 30 to 40 requests for service each day.
“We had written scripts that … identify schools with a lot of requests, and then we cross-reference that against [whether] we think Coursicle could grow very quickly at that school,” he said.
Currently, the app is available for students at more than 830 colleges across the nation. Students can track the space available in one course for free; to track unlimited courses, there is a premium fee of $4.99 per semester.
Recently, Puccio said the company has also launched a referral program: students who share the app with three friends will get to enjoy the premium service for free.
Puccio explained that Coursicle had done some marketing in the past to get students interested in the app, but that those efforts are “miniscule compared to how many users [they] get from the word-of-the mouth spread.”
“Usually what we see across most schools is the first semester we get some amount of users, every semester after that, we double our user count,” he said.