What will it take to give all students an equal opportunity to prepare for college?
Our story begins with the belief that a higher SAT or ACT score is one of the most powerful ways for a student to boost their college prospects. Yet not all students are encouraged – or can afford – to prepare.
Since 2008, we’ve helped over 30,000 students from low-income backgrounds increase their SAT scores by an average of 104 points. Unfortunately, test prep continues to be costly and out of reach for many students–which is why we’re determined to expand our reach and deepen our impact.
In 2017, Dr. Yoon S. Choi became CEO of CollegeSpring and led our organization through a strategic planning process, reflecting on our successes and learnings over the past 10 years. The resulting FY19 – FY21 Strategic Plan positions us both to meet the continued need for high-quality, inclusive test prep, and to help 25,000 more students earn higher scores and succeed in college admissions.
In 2008, Stanford University sophomores Garrett Neiman and Jessica Perez learned that students from low-income backgrounds tend to score lower on the SAT and ACT–but have few opportunities to increase their score. Struck by the need for free, inclusive test prep, Jessica and Garrett founded CollegeSpring and hosted their first test prep course for 55 high school students in East Palo Alto.
Since 2008, schools across the country have recognized the need for school-based test prep. In 2012 we expanded to Southern California, and in 2014 began serving high schools and community-based organizations in New York. From our first class of 55 students, we have grown to serve over 5,000 students annually at 50+ schools and community organizations.
CollegeSpring has improved its programs over time, earning recognition from school administrators and rigorous philanthropists. We serve the first- and second-largest public school districts in the nation, and are funded by leading-edge foundations like The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and The Kresge Foundation. In 2014, our work was recognized by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Looking to the Future
CollegeSpring’s Strategic Plan calls on CollegeSpring to build on our story by doubling down on our core competency: high-quality SAT and ACT test prep. With a fresh perspective on what we can accomplish for students, we developed a plan that prioritizes impact, sustainability, and scale–in that order:
Growing Our Impact
We will serve 25,000 more students by 2021–reaching a total of 50,000 all-time–while maintaining our focus on communities that are underrepresented in higher education.
We will reduce our cost-per-student, gain operational efficiencies through scale, and fund more of our work though earned income.
Scaling Our Work
We will integrate additional technology and prioritize a robust Research & Evaluation agenda, learning how to replicate our impact for students across the country.