Software company Merit, founded by two SUNY alumni and headquartered in Albany, now serving 250+ colleges and millions of students.
Students can keep track of their academic awards and accomplishments through Merit.
ALBANY, N.Y. (November 8, 2016) — The University is the first of the SUNY University Centers to adopt Merit, an online platform that publishes and promotes stories of student success to critical stakeholders to better connect the dots between high school, college, and career. UAlbany joins hundreds of colleges nationwide utilizing the system which was founded by two SUNY graduates with headquarters in Albany’s Warehouse District.
UAlbany soft-launched Merit this spring and introduced the service to the campus community on Sept. 7 as students returned for the fall semester. Already, the institution has used Merit to recognize students who have been named orientation leaders, made the dean’s list, or were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Merit’s built-in distribution channels ensure each student’s state legislator, hometown newspaper, former high school, and friends or family are kept apprised of their success on campus. The University has reached more than 1,470 high schools and 1,600 news outlets with stories of student achievement thus far.
“Merit is quickly becoming a critical strategy for how we tell the story of our institution,” said James Stellar, interim president, UAlbany. “Our students are doing amazing things and we want to ensure that our most important audiences are hearing about their accomplishments. With Merit, we can clearly demonstrate what it means to be part of a comprehensive public research university community.”
As the University continues to promote student accomplishments, these accolades build up on a personalized online profile for each student — a Merit page. Each student’s Merit page becomes like a resume that the institution builds for them, based on their campus accomplishments. More than a quarter of UAlbany students are already actively engaging on Merit, and they have collectively added thousands of photos and campus activities to their pages. Students can share their Merit pages with potential employers and soon, Merit will be rolling out features to directly connect employers to the Merit network.
“Our goal is to show, for as many students as possible, what the path from high school to college to career looks like,” said Jason Fox, Merit’s co-founder. “By promoting student achievements, universities using Merit showcase the opportunities are available on a campus through the lens of the individual students participating in them.”
Fox graduated from the University at Albany in 2001 with a degree in computer science. He went on to become an early employee at Commerce Hub and then ran his own venture, Initiate Commerce, before selling that company and founding Merit with Colin Mathews. Mathews is a
graduate of Binghamton University, and several other members of the Merit team are SUNY alumni.
“Merit is an important tool for our students as it allows them to create an online portfolio of accomplishments reflecting their individual journey at UAlbany,” said Michael Christakis, vice president for student affairs, UAlbany. “Our University embraces Merit as a collaborative, cross-campus effort to help tell the world our story.”
More than 250 colleges have adopted Merit since it launched in 2013, including other SUNY campuses like Canton, Delhi, Farmingdale, Geneseo, Morrisville, New Paltz, Oneonta, Oswego, Potsdam, HVCC, and GCC. Private Capital Region colleges using Merit include RPI, St. Rose, Siena, Union, and Clarkson. Merit’s clients range from small liberal arts colleges like Bates College, Carleton College and Colgate University; to large public research institutions like San Diego State, Georgia Tech, and Clemson.