Preparing for college can be a stressful time for many families, but thanks to a couple of Hopkinton organizations, there now can be one less stressor for families in need.
The Hopkinton Youth Commission (HYC) has partnered with local business Education Station to offer low- or no-cost SAT prep courses for families who otherwise could not afford them.
SAT prep courses can cost around $1,500, making them unaffordable for some students with an eye on college.
“We found that this was causing a lot of anxiety,” said HYC chair Dawn Ronan. “Kids felt like they weren’t prepared for the SATs but couldn’t afford to sign up for prep classes.”
That’s when Ronan reached out to Education Station, a tutoring organization in Hopkinton that offers SAT and ACT prep courses, to come up with a way to make sure all students in town would be able to participate no matter their financial situation.
“Through this collaboration we were able to offer classes for $400, and even gave full scholarships to three students,” Ronan said.
The prep courses allowed the students to walk into the test more prepared and lowered their anxiety, Ronan explained.
“Students told me that they felt more confident in taking the SATs,” she said.
Ronan also said that the students reported that their test scores rose after taking the prep course, with some students reporting a significant increase.
“It was so great to be able to collaborate on something like this, especially when we are hearing from the school district that stress and anxiety in students is such a huge issue,” she said.
This is not the only college-prep activity on which the HYC has partnered with Education Station to guide students navigating the college application process. The two groups collaborated to offer a “College Boot Camp,” which provided students with advice on putting together a resume, writing an essay and handling a college interview.
“Kids left the boot camp saying that they felt prepared for senior year,” Ronan said.
Ronan credits Education Station, founded by Christine Chapman and Sims Yun, for allowing families in need the ability to be a part of this important college prep process.
“It made us all so proud that by partnering together and building bridges we were able to offer this to the Hopkinton students, and will be hopefully be able to offer well into the future,” she said.
Education Station, which is celebrating its one-year anniversary this month, jumped on the opportunity to help after learning of the need in its own community.
“Our vision has always been to try our very best to provide quality educational tutoring and test prep classes that are normally reserved for the wealthy, and make it affordable for everyone,” Chapman said about the company’s mission.
When the owners were approached by Ronan to partner on making the prep classes more attainable to those in need, Chapman said they were all for it.
“I am a Hopkinton resident with two children of my own,” she said. “To be able to do this in my own hometown has been a great blessing.”
Due to the success of the collaboration, HYC and Education Station once again will offer reduced-cost SAT and ACT prep courses through the winter and spring to prepare students for the tests. The sessions will be available at the reduced rate of $400 and each session is limited to 28 participants.