UVA grads address gaps in college counseling with startup
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Two 2023 University of Virginia graduates are helping high school students navigate the process of getting into college.
"Every year, 10 million students apply to college, but sadly 75 percent of those students are applying alone. Applying alone is really scary, we know it should be exciting,” said Leah Guesman, co-founder of College Contact.
Guesman and Sophie Smith identified two gaps in the college counseling system: counselors who understand the applicants and affordability.
For example: guidance counselors spend on average 38 minutes with a student over four years, while private counselors start at $250 an hour.
They want to change that.
"It's really valuable for us to A) be able to flip that narrative; and then B) really be able to tap into these kids' full potentials," Guesman said.
They match high school students with a counselor that’s in college at a starting rate of just $35 an hour.
"You're meeting a college student who matches your vibe, matches your aura, as we like to say,” Smith said.
They employ 30 counselors and have served more than 1,500 students with an 86 percent placement rate.
"We're making a huge impact on the community, not only helping high school students who don't have help otherwise, but we also help college students become mini entrepreneurs on our platform, “said Smith.
Now, it's their full-time job.
"I realized it really supplemented my business education at McIntire, it was kind of like my live business textbook," Smith said.
Visit yourcollegecontact.com to learn more about the business.