When high school students prepare for college, there’s an almost endless list of things to do: set up college visits, apply for financial aid, and fill out school applications. But one of the most challenging tasks on the college to-do list is taking college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT.
About half of the students who take those exams don’t study for them, meaning that millions of students take the test without any prior experience with the tests and the materials on them. And while there are classes and tutors devoted solely to helping kids get ready for the exams, many students either can’t afford the prep sessions or don’t live near exam preparation providers.
Internet startup Grockit (a clever named based on a word for learning, from sci-fi novel Stranger in a Strange Land) plans to help students improve their scores and get them ready for college. With their online interface and social media components, Grockit’s goal is to give students access to the resources they need to perform better on college entrance exams. As online learning becomes increasingly popular and more effective, companies like Grockit are filling a market need for educational programs that serve students wherever they are.
The “everywhere” classroom
The upcoming presidential election has made the state of education a hot topic, but it’s a constant concern for parents, school administrations, and colleges and universities. As school budgets tighten and college tuitions rise, more students and their families feel like receiving a quality education is becoming difficult. Online learning has been suggested as an alternative to spending capital on physical resources like school buildings and transportation for students. While Grockit focuses on college entrance exams, other startups have worked to make both high school and college education accessible and affordable for students in low-income and rural neighborhoods. And Grockit’s partnership with Facebook demonstrates the increasing role that social media is playing in how students learn and share with their classmates. The ability to reach students everywhere—and the ability for students to collaborate with each other online—is providing companies like Grockit with the momentum they need to be successful.
Changing the college landscape
The rise of companies like Grockit has the potential to help students improve their scores on college entrance exams, but there’s potential for more than just higher SAT scores. The more students who are accepted into colleges and universities, the more diverse the college student body will become. And online education can play a role in accommodating a growing student population as well: online colleges and universities can provide students with the opportunity to attend school without moving away from home or spending money on housing and transportation.
Grockit and online education resources like it are just a small part of the movement to make education available to any student who wants it and to give every student a chance to succeed and move on to higher education. As the Internet and social media become more intertwined with education, Grockit is set up to make a significant impact on how students learn.