McKinnon said the website addresses two problems: biased opinions from friends and limited resources for out-of-state students and international students.
"You're getting a biased opinion and you're only hearing from people who have come from usually the same background as you, who have only had a narrow experience of the dorm,” McKinnon said.
The website addresses this problem by giving students a variety of reviews, along with average ratings for each aspect of the dorm.
For out-of-state students and international students, who do not have friends in the dorms yet and have few resources to decide where to live, the website gives those students a connection to residential information.
“All we're trying to do is empower students and their parents to eliminate all the unknowns with coming to college,” Brindis said. “When you come onto campus, there's so many things to worry about, and we don’t want housing to be one of them."
The website itself has two main options, write a review or read feedback.
The feedback page is laid out with a map of the campus and each dorm's overall rating. Users can sort ratings by features like "bathroom rating" or by filters like "social" or "sporty." Clicking on a dorm name shows more specifics and individual reviews about the dorm.
Michael Dudash, a user on rateyourdorms.com said he used the website to rate his dorm.
“I know coming to UNC and choosing between South Campus and Granville is hard,” Dudash said. “Just having that information from students who have actually lived there is helpful.”
Brindis and McKinnon are also using the website as a tool to collaborate with the University to improve residence halls.
“One of the questions in the review is, 'Would you recommend this dorm to other students?' and we think we can filter that data and create an actionable plan for how the University might improve some of the dorms,” Brindis said.
But these two entrepreneurs are not on their own. Juniors Phillippa Owens and Andrew Lee aided with the development of the website.
The two hope to have the top 50 largest universities in the United States on the website by next year’s college admissions cycle, and eventually every school in the U.S.