Class 101 Franchise Franchise Review: An Interview with Winni van Gessel
Class 101 Franchise Review: College planning franchise delivers scholarships, success to students and families
A Class 101 Franchise Review by an actual franchise owner:
Winni van Gessel and his wife, Ania, came to the United States from Holland. Like so many immigrant parents, he discovered the college process was far more complex in America than it was in their home country. Enter Class 101 founder Tom Pabin, who stepped up and assisted their daughter in finding a college. The van Gessel family quickly came to understand the value of the college planning franchise.
“In Holland, I didn’t grow up going through the same high school process with ACTs and SATs, so it was all new to me,” says Winni, who founded and operated Montessori High School of Kentucky. A master’s degree in education fanned his passion for helping students achieve their dreams, but it was the opportunity provided by Class 101 that ultimately opened the door for Winni and Ania to help students become successful in the quest to find and fund a college education. “I was one of the few parents who sat in every single meeting and asked questions each session.”
After his daughter’s experience with Tom and Class 101, Winni knew what the next part of his career would be, and he opened Class 101 of Lexington, in Kentucky. The decision has allowed him to grow his career and to provide accurate and timely assistance to hundreds of college students.
College planning franchise delivers results
Working in a Montessori high school on a college campus provided Winni with a unique insight: from the first day, everything a student does matters to colleges. As he puts it, “From the very first grades you get your freshman year to any leadership opportunity to volunteering to clubs to following your interests — it all has to do with college applications and is ultimately geared toward your professional occupation.”
At the same time, college is becoming increasingly expensive. The majority of Winni’s students come from homes where their parents graduated college when education was much cheaper. Today, with college costs starting at $20,000 per year, parents are increasingly in need of assistance financing their child’s education. Class 101 is the premier college planning franchise because our consultants deliver results.
“It’s truly an investment for parents,” Winni says. “Most of our clients save about $10,000 a year on college expenses. For some, it can literally be a million dollars in scholarships spread over several universities.”
For families with multiple children headed to college, Class 101 becomes the first stop on the four-year process of college selection, application, acceptance and financing. “In the end, it doesn’t have to be a Harvard-type success style. It’s your child. If they are being the best they can be, that is success,” Winni says.
Class 101 franchise review: this is a sustainable business
Flexible hours and dealing with enthusiastic youth excited about their futures are just a few of the benefits of a Class 101 college planning franchise. While Class 101 provides a valuable and vital service, many parents still haven’t discovered the business, and that means tremendous room for growth.
“Our closing rate is over 90%. It’s just getting the word out that we can help your kid, because we are reasonably priced,” Winni says. That process begins with an hour-long advice session, free to the family, in which consultants provide a clear picture of what the challenges are and how Class 101 helps students meet them. Class 101’s track record of landing multiple acceptance letters and thousands in scholarships sells itself. Or, as Winni puts it, “After that, 90% say, ‘When do we start?’”
Class 101 is a growth business, too, as more students are heading off to college than ever before. The door is open for growth and sustainability. Winni reflects on his years as a headmaster and school counselor, then compares them to Class 101.
“I make more money now than I did then. I work fewer hours than before, and I’m happier,” he says. “The success rate among my colleagues is tremendously high.”
Structured support and materials lead to success
Because college preparation is a four-year process, Winni builds a relationship with each student. At any given moment, Winni and Ania are working with between 40 and 50 clients — it’s a year-round commitment, and one that he and his wife embrace.
“We help the students with time management throughout the year so they don’t feel overwhelmed,” Winni says. “Their reading skills and test-taking skills are something we work on with them, as well, that helps them in college and beyond.”
Class 101 franchise owners benefit from extensive support materials and comprehensive processes, so whether the consultant is good in trigonometry or biology becomes secondary to their drive to help the student succeed in college and beyond.