When it’s time for high school students to consider college, it can be tough, and sometimes expensive, to navigate the application and scholarship process. That’s where College Coaching Network fills a needed niche.
For families that cannot afford a college planning service, College Coaching Network offers a scholarship app to provides training and 24/7 chat service that supports the work of college guidance counselors. The goal is to make higher education more accessible to all students.
Initially, Claude Harris, founder and CEO, started his business as a private consulting service geared to help families through the college planning process.
“We discovered that every family could not afford to pay for premium college planning services and the rising cost of college simultaneously,” Harris said. “This untapped market needed assistance, accountability and a systemized approach towards finding scholarships for college.”
As a result, the 24/7 support and training services have been very successful and in demand by students. The company offers a college roadmap that helps students begin preparing for college admission as early as freshman year in high school. The program provides a career assessment test to help students identify their core strengths and see salary potential for different careers. In the college selection process, students can learn how to evaluate a college for their needs and learn the difference between the costs of graduation, compared to the cost of attendance.
A key service is College Coaching Network’s assistance with identifying and applying for scholarships and maximizing financial aid.
In its early startup days, Harris sought the help of the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) for business coaching and help finding other business resources. The company was selected for Digital Sandbox, the YMCA Pace Setter Award, Top 10 Rising KC Start-Up and Spirit of Service Award. The organization also participated in TechHire, an intern program through the Full Employment Council
In addition to these programs, Harris receives ongoing business coaching from Jill Meyer, SBTDC business development consultant, and Rebecca Gubbels, SBTDC business and program development consultant.
“They provided clarity for my vision, a practical plan of action and networking opportunities that have opened doors that would have taken me decades of validation to pursue,” Harris said.
The College Coaching Network partners with numerous youth organizations, high schools and employee benefits programs to offer collage and career life coaching. Some of their partners include: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Grandview C4 School District, Palestine Missionary Baptist Church, Sallie Mae, Urban League, Urban Rangers, University Academy and YMCA.