Class scheduling website still active eight years later

A website started by an ASU student frustrated with hunting for seats in required classes is still thriving eight years later.

A website started by an ASU student frustrated with hunting for seats in required classes is still thriving eight years later.

The idea for perfectschedule.com hit Rocky Smith, then a political science sophomore at ASU, when he couldn’t register for a physics class he needed in 2004.

He asked the course’s teacher for help, and she said all he could do was periodically check ASU’s class registration website until he found an opening in the required class.

“As a computer science major, it felt very natural to just write software to automate that task,” Smith said in an email. “I was able to get into the class by doing that, and even helped out some friends.”

He soon turned the program into a website, perfectschedule.com, which would notify students who registered and paid a fee of $10 per class.

Smith promoted the new website outside of the Memorial Union and through word of mouth, and it continued to grow during his time at ASU and after he graduated in 2006.

“When someone writes you saying that they wouldn't have graduated on time if not for the service, it's safe to say that they'd be telling all of their friends about it – and that was all the advertising that was ever needed,” Smith said.

Perfectschedule.com charges $10 for each class a student signs up to receive notifications for, but $3 for any additional section of that course. For example, a customer would pay $13 if he wanted to receive notifications for two sections of English 101.

Students receive an automatic refund if the class they sign up to have perfectschedule.com track doesn’t open up, and they can receive emails, text messages and automated phone calls when a spot in the class opens.

“For some students, their ability to graduate on time or do an internship while taking classes or any number of other circumstances puts them in a very stressful position,” Smith said. “This website has always aimed to help those students, just as it once helped me.”

Since Smith graduated from ASU, the site has expanded to cover the University of Arizona and the University of Washington. Another co-owner, David Lowe, joined the site to keep it running.

“It was a fair amount of work to keep the service running reliably,” he said. “So that's when (I) got involved, as I was interested in improving and expanding the business.”

Reach the reporter at julia.shumway@asu.edu or follow @JMShumway on Twitter.

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