While attending freshman orientation with their daughter preparing for her first year of college, Randy and Kim Stegemoller learned that she was one SAT question shy of receiving a major scholarship. This news was devastating because the ten-point difference would have saved them thousands of dollars each year. It was then that they realized many parents were having similar experiences as they stumbled through an increasingly complicated college application process and scholarship dollars were on the line.
“We knew then that we wanted to help other families like ours. While our children had support through school, they weren’t receiving all of the attention we knew we could provide when managing the process full-time. Had someone told us about that one additional question on the SAT, we could have identified specific weak spots to strengthen and coached her through practice tests,” explained Class 101 owner Randy Stegemoller.
Randy and Kim were inspired to open Class 101 , a national college planning franchise, in their hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. After nearly ten successful years guiding hundreds of students through their college planning journeys and dedicating their careers to understanding the ins and outs of scholarship applications, crafting stand-out college essays, and helping students find best-fit colleges, the duo opened a location in Carmel.
“Our passion is helping high school students find their future and guiding parents through the financial aspects of the process. Carmel was an obvious choice with so many college-bound students and parents who value a great education,” Randy added.
This year with the impact of Covid-19, the admissions process is even more complex. In fact, many colleges switched to test-optional admissions, not requiring a college placement test with a student’s application. However, the college planning experts at Class 101 encourage families to submit a test score to ensure their child has access to all available scholarships: “Colleges may be test-optional for admission but could require a test score to award scholarships or direct-admission to top programs. If you apply without a test score, you could be leaving scholarship dollars on the table,” said Alyssa, Class 101 Office Manager.
Additionally, Class 101 tells clients to sign-up early for PSAT, SAT, and ACT tests to ensure students get a spot and have plenty of time to retest. Carmel Class 101 College Planner, Kara, explains, “early engagement in the process is a game-changer. When it comes to maximizing college and scholarship opportunities, the earlier the better. People are shocked when they see how we help improve test scores with time and coaching. One of our students is going tuition-free to his dream school after a 300-point increase.”
Additionally, many colleges allow superscoring, where the highest subject scores are combined across all of the dates tested to create the best score. To get a superscore, a student needs to test more than once but spots have been limited due to Covid-19.
The Stegemollers want to ensure college-bound students don’t miss out due to changing admissions criteria. The Hoosier parents encourage families to ask specific questions during the application process:
● Is this college test-optional?
● Is a test score required for direct-admission to a specific program?
● Does this college superscore the SAT or ACT?
● Is a test score required for scholarship consideration?
Seeing their students succeed and reach their goals is what keeps the Stegemollers motivated after a decade as college planners. Kim adds, “Class 101 becomes part of the family while helping each student succeed. That’s what we’re all about. We help a good student become great and a great student become phenomenal.”
Class 101 is located in Carmel at 600 E. Carmel Drive, Suite 109. Visit their website at class101.com/centralindiana or call 317-975-1012 to schedule a free consultation.