Help/FAQ

How do I get my three month free trial?
If I went to a top graduate school NOT in business, law or medicine, can I join the site?
Why does the profile have so many questions?
What’s the criteria for school inclusion?
Is Pondigo available for same-sex matching?
How do I subscribe / unsubscribe?
What if I live outside the US or don’t have a credit card with a US address?
Do you ever add new schools to the Pond?
What if my school has stopped offering Lifetime Email Forwarding Addresses?

How do I get my three month free trial?

It's very simple to register and have free use of the site:

1. There's nothing special you need, or need to do, just find your school in the drop down menu in the lower left corner of the pondigo.com Home Page and begin the sign up process. You do not need a promo code or special login.

2. Once you've registered, and completed your profile and pond, you will be asked to enter your credit card.  At that time you have two options:

a. Become an Unpaid Member: Do NOT enter your credit card, and you can use the site for FREE for as long as you’d like, with no obligation (the button you'll select says "Join as Unpaid Member"). You'll be able to use all features except send/receive email (and any other communication features we add, such as IM, which will be coming soon).

b. Take Advantage of Our Free Trial Paid Membership: Enter your credit card to subscribe for the Free Trial, and you will be able to use all features of the site (including send/receive email, and additional communication features) FREE for three months. Your credit card will NOT be charged until the end of the 3 month period, and it will not be charged AT ALL if you cancel at any point before the end of the promotional period. 
 
That’s it, whichever you prefer, you’re good to go!
 
 
If I went to a top graduate school NOT in business, law or medicine, can I join the site?
 
YES, YES, and YES! Here’s how: We found in our upfront research that for the vast majority of Universities in our Top 35, the Lifetime Email Forwarding Address, or LEFA, suffix (which we use to instantaneously verify your alumni status) is the same for alumni of both the undergraduate institution as well as 99% of the graduate programs (master's, PhDs...).  For whatever reason, nearly all of the business, law, and medical schools choose to have DIFFERENT LEFAs from their undergraduate counterparts, so that is why we chose to specify those schools.
 
A perfect example is Columbia.  The LEFA for undergraduate alumni is the same as those from the School of International and Public Affairs, Teachers College, for Ph.D’s in History, and so on.  But, the LEFA suffix for the business school is different, including gsb after the @. 
 
So, on our list of schools, we do not call out the hundreds and hundreds of different graduate programs offered by our top 35 schools that qualify within the existing LEFA protocol, but you can easily join pondigo.com, by simply selecting your University from the home page drop down menu, and entering your existing LEFA.
 
If your qualified graduate program is part of the 1% that has its own distinct LEFA suffix, please reach us through our Contact Us form, and we will work with  you to get you into the pond promptly!
 
 
Why does the profile have so many questions?
 
We know the list of questions is long - we do warn you upfront! - and we apologize, but, it is our intention to have the best matching algorithm in the online dating world, and so we need to cover quite a few bases to insure that we are hitting on characteristics that are important to different people.  If the process gets too tedious at any point, you can always save and go back at any time to review and edit the questions, when you have more energy to consider them. But, in order for us to provide you with your best catch, you need to complete the entire profile and your pond, as well as prioritize your pond. Of course, you only have to do this once (unless you decide to “tweak” things at a later date), and then watch as great fish populate your pond!
 
 
What’s the criteria for school inclusion?
 
At Pondigo, we certainly recognize there are many intelligent people who, for an infinite number of reasons, did not attend the schools chosen for our Pond. We have the utmost respect for those individuals, but, we had to draw a line somewhere, and this is how we did it: utilizing recent US News & World Report rankings, we included:
 
·         Top 35 national universities
·         Top 35 small colleges
·         Top 25 business schools
·         Top 25 law schools
·         Top 25 medical schools
 
We also added 10 of the top international universities (such as Oxford and Cambridge), and a handful of top art and design programs (such as Julliard), along with some unique programs (such as Thunderbird, a top international business school). As well, alumni with degrees in non-professional graduate programs (such as english literature or anthropology) from the top 35 national universities, are also included. Finally, from those lists, we removed a handful of schools who do not yet offer Lifetime Email Forwarding Addresses (LEFAs) to their alumni (unfortunately, that includes West Point and the Naval Academy, so if you went to either school and have a suggestion for us of how we can verify alumni, please Contact Us!), since that prevents us from verifying them. Thus, we stocked our pond, which we feel is sufficiently small to provide the caliber of potential mates our members are looking for, while at the same time being large enough to insure sufficient diversity (in terms of geography, personality, and so forth) and quantity, for our members.
 
We have maintained flexibility in our criteria by allowing those who feel their school has been overlooked to recommend it to us. We feel this is particularly important given the fluidity of the US News & World Report rankings: a school that may have been Top 20 twenty years ago, may not be in the Top 40 today, but we certainly consider their alumni in their late 30s and above, as great candidates for Pondigo, and so we welcome those requests for inclusion in our community.
 
 
Is Pondigo available for same-sex matching?
 
Yes. We are open to all verified fish regardless of their sexual orientation.  So, no matter your preference, as long as you're enough of a smarty-pants to qualify for a place in the Pond, we'd love to have you!
 
 
How do I subscribe / unsubscribe?
 
Just click here to subscribe!
 
To unsubscribe, just click on the “Cancel My Account” button in your Account Details tab in My Profile. Remember, your account will remain paid and active until the end of your current month term, but will not automatically renew.
 
What if I live outside the US or don’t have a credit card with a US address?
 
For our initial launch, Pondigo is focused on US residents only. However, we have already been receiving requests from Canada, Australia, and various European countries to expand our service. This is exciting. We are hoping for international expansion within the next 6 to 12 months. However, there are quite a few legal and financial issues we must reconcile for each market we enter and we don’t yet have the manpower to address them. So, please have patience as the pond grows!
 
If you are living in the US but only have credit cards with international billing addresses, we cannot process them at this time. We are looking in to PayPal as a solution, but, in the meantime, please use our Contact Us form to let us know you are interested in a Free Trial, and we will work directly with you to get you set up.

 

Do you ever add new schools to the Pond?

Yes, in fact, in August 2010, we added a number of schools that were not part of our original list of CURRENT TOP 35 national colleges or universities or CURRENT TOP 25 business schools, law schools or medical schools. A key consideration was each school’s historical place in the US News & World Report Rankings during the past 25 years – after all, if you graduated 15 years ago, and your school was a Top 25 then, of course you should qualify for Pondigo, regardless of the school’s ranking today.

Here are the schools and why we added them:

Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA) - a top arts program in 2010
Case Western Reserve University - a top 30 school throughout the 90s and #35 as recently as 2004
College of William and Mary - as high as #22 in 1987, consistently among the top 35 national universities through 2007
Connecticut College - as high as #24 in 1998, ranked among top 25 to 35 throughout the 80s and 90s among national small colleges
Georgia Tech – a top 30 school through the 90s, a top 10 public university as recently as 2005 and a Top 25 engineering program from 1995 to present
Holy Cross – as high as #23 in 1991, consistently in the top 35 through 2007 among national small colleges
Lafayette – ranked between #25 and  #35 from 1992 to 2007 
Lehigh - a top 35 school throughout the 1990s and 2000s
Maxwell School at Syracuse University – the #1 public policy graduate program in 2010
Penn State – a top engineering school since 1996, also ranked in the top 35 in the early 1990s 
Purdue - a top engineering school since 1995, ranked in the top 35 from ’88 – ’90
Reed College – a Top 15 small college throughout the 1980s
Rochester Institute of Technology – a Top 5 school in the East throughout the 1980s, a Top 5 engineering school beginning in 1996 through 2010, and a Top 10 school not offering a PhD in 2002 
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology – a Top 3 engineering undergraduate program from the 1980s through 2010
Sewanee - University of the South – as high as #24 in 1998, ranked among Top 25 to 35 throughout the 1990s and 2000s among national small colleges, still as high as #34 in ’05 and ‘06 
Trinity (CT) – as high as #20 in 1989, ranked in the Top 25 among small colleges from 1988 through 2005
UC San Diego - ranked in the Top 35 from 1996 – 2005; Top 10 Public University in 1998 and 2005, Top 25 Engineering Program in 2010
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign - #8 national university in 1983; remaining in Top 25 through the late 80s; a Top engineering school from 1995 through the present; a Top business school, starting at #7 in 1995; and a Top 15 Public University from 1998 through 2005
University of Rochester – as high as #25 in 1990; a Top 25 to 35 program throughout the 1990s and 2000s, until 2007
University of Texas-Austin – as high as #23 in 1988; a Top 25 engineering program from 1995 through the present; A Top 25 Public Policy program in 2010; and a Top 10 undergraduate business program in the 2000s
University of Wisconsin-Madison  - as high as #13 in 1983, remained between #17 and #35 from 1987 through 2006; a Top 25 engineering program from 1995 through 2010; a top public policy program in 2010; a Top 10 Public University from 1998 through 2005

Here are schools we wanted to add at the time but couldn’t, and why:

Cooper Union - #1 in engineering from ’89 to ’92 and still as high as #3 in 2006 – does not offer LEFAs
Curtis Institute of Music – a Top arts program 2010 – does not offer LEFAs
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts – a Top arts program 2010 – does not offer LEFAs
United States Military Academy – consistent Top 25 small college – does not offer LEFAs
United States Naval Academy – consistent Top 25 small college – does not offer LEFAs

If you went to any of the 5 schools listed above and feel we made a mistake in that your school does offer Lifetime Email Forwarding, or if you feel your school has what it takes although it’s not listed above – and you know it offers Lifetime Email Forwarding for alumni! – be sure to Contact Us with your suggestion!
 

What if my school has stopped offering Lifetime Email Forwarding Addresses?

It has come to our attention that Haverford College and Wellesley College have stopped offering LEFAs. Because these schools have been a part of Pondigo since its inception, we already have their alumni within the Pond. Therefore, in order to maintain their memberships, these schools will remain a part of the Pondigo database. However, if you went to once of these schools and are newly interested in joining Pondigo, you must now Contact Us directly (select “Customer Service”) to receive a manually-generated verification code. You will receive a reply from a Pondigo representative requesting electronic proof of your alumni status in order to have the code generated.

If you went to any other school already included within Pondigo but you believe your school is no longer offering LEFAs, please Contact Us (select “Customer Service”) as well. However, recently we have received “false alarm” notifications related to a half dozen Pondigo-approved schools – they had merely changed the location on their website where the LEFA information is provided – to date, these are the only schools we are aware of that have actually stopped offering LEFAs.

If you discover your school has moved its LEFA information page to a URL other than that which we have provided, we’d love for you to let us know, given that we cannot monitor the websites of nearly 200 schools on a daily basis to confirm they are not altering their site architecture. With help from you (select “Suggestion”), we can be more responsive in insuring that all our LEFA information links are working correctly! Thank you!

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