In 2006, Garrett Neiman was accepted to Stanford University after increasing his SAT scores by nearly 400 points to achieve a perfect 2400. Garrett initially used his experience to run a lucrative tutoring business, but soon realized that the students who could afford his services were not those who would benefit from it most. What he learned was frustrating:
Across the board, students from low-income backgrounds score far lower on the SAT and ACT than all other students—especially their highest-income peers.
Low SAT and ACT scores, coupled with less assistance in the college admissions process, create a significant barrier to college access for low-income students. Garrett and co-founder Jessica Perez learned that that even though many nonprofits and schools were dedicated to college access, test scores scores remained a fundamental barrier without systematic solutions. They created the first business plan for CollegeSpring in a social entrepreneurship course at Stanford, attracted philanthropic support, and launched three pilot programs in the summer of 2008. Those programs were a success.
Since 2008, CollegeSpring has helped more than 15,000 students in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York improve SAT scores by an average of 110 points and prepare for college.
CollegeSpring’s programs, which take place during either the summer or the academic year, offer a combination of professional instruction, near-peer mentoring, and diagnostic testing to help students build the skills they need to succeed on the SAT, ACT, and in college admissions.
For our students, the SAT and ACT are no longer obstacles—they are opportunities.