CollegeSpring was founded on the understanding that the SAT and ACT, coupled with less assistance in the college admissions process, can be significant barriers to college for many students from low-income backgrounds.
CollegeSpring’s co-founder Garrett Neiman realized this while running a test prep business as a student at Stanford University. He found that the students who could afford his services were not those who would benefit from it most, and that across the board, students from low-income backgrounds score far lower on the SAT and ACT than all other students—especially their higher-income peers.
At Stanford, Garrett participated in a social entrepreneurship course during which he and fellow co-founder Jessica Perez wrote CollegeSpring’s first business plan. With philanthropic support from Stanford’s Haas Center for Public Service and Stanford President John Hennessy, CollegeSpring’s first free SAT prep program was piloted in the summer of 2008, helping 55 local students improve their SAT scores. During the following two summers, CollegeSpring served 200 and 450 students—after which the volunteer-run organization became a professional nonprofit and began offering its first academic year programs.
Since then, CollegeSpring has grown considerably to operate in 46 schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and New York City. We’ve also expanded our programs to provide diagnostic testing, college admissions support, and near-peer mentoring. Overall, since our founding, we’ve helped more than 19,000 students close the college opportunity gap and increase their SAT scores by an average of 23 percent.
While CollegeSpring has had a considerable impact in the communities we serve, there remain millions of students with incredible potential to succeed in college, yet who lack the support needed to get there. We are always looking for ways to help more students ensure their college success through graduation.