From Our Editors
The SAT can be a life-changing experience. Garrett Neiman, cofounder of CollegeSpring, knows this firsthand: in 2006, he boosted his own SAT score up nearly 400 points to achieve a perfect 2400, securing his acceptance to Stanford. Initially, he tried to help students by running a tutoring business but quickly realized that the students who could afford his services weren’t the ones most in need. Students from low-income backgrounds, on average, score lower on the SAT than all other students. Coupled with a lack of assistance preparing for the college-admissions process, this creates a significant barrier for such students to gain access to a college education.
So he decided to help. He and cofounder Jessica Perez created a business plan for what would become CollegeSpring. Through partnerships with schools and community organizations, CollegeSpring works with students from low-income backgrounds, combining instruction from professional teachers with near-peer mentoring (undergraduates working with high schoolers) and diagnostic SAT testing. Since 2008, CollegeSpring has helped more than 4,400 students in Los Angeles and the Bay Area improve their SAT scores, turning an obstacle into an opportunity.