How Large Is The College Planning Industry?

Millions of kids head off to college each fall, and they all need help with the application process

Each year, millions of students head off to U.S. colleges and universities, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Each and every one of those rising college freshmen is a potential Class 101 client.

Class101 college planning franchise infographic

U.S. students are graduating from high school at a higher rate than ever before, and that number is not expected to decline. The nation’s high school graduation rate hit 88 percent in 2018-19. This results in an untapped market with an enormous demand for services that can be met nationwide, in both urban and rural settings, by Class 101.

Most college students don’t earn a degree in four years, according to a report called the Four-Year Myth. Why? There are too few counselors to help them chart their course. The result is wasted time and money for both students and parents.

Class 101 is a simple, but highly effective, business model. “We aim for 100 client referrals a year, with a goal of 40 to 50 students,” says Founder and CEO Tom Pabin. “The average sale for a consulting retainer is $2,800, and our average closing rate is 90 percent nationwide.”

Class 101 offers scalability

Class 101 owners have a manageable workload, and the average sale is $2,800. We also offer eight-week ACT and SAT preparation courses and organized campus visits, keeping revenue flowing throughout the year.

There is tremendous pent-up demand for the services provided by Class 101. A typical Class 101 territory has a population of about 250,000 with eight high schools — comprised of 14,000 total high school students. Of this high school population, 3,500 are seniors. A Class 101 franchise can be successful with a 1% penetration rate, and there is plenty of expansion potential in larger markets for multiple franchise locations. We have plans in place to open 100 Class 101 locations by 2024.

“This is not a big numbers game. When I was a financial advisor I had a goal of calling 100 people a day. We have a goal at Class 101 of reaching 100 prospects [high school students] a year,” Tom says.

Class 101 provides communities with a much-needed service

High school counselors spend less than 40 minutes each year helping prepare seniors for college, so the demand for a service that provides detailed guidance for students and their families is high. Class 101 provides personalized planning services that cut through the confusion and help save families thousands of dollars.


Most high school counselors are frustrated with their ability to adequately prepare high school seniors for college. More than seven in 10 (71 percent) of high school counselors rate Academic Planning for College and Career Readiness as very important, but only 34 percent say their school is successful, according to the “2011 National Survey of School Counselors: Counseling at a Crossroads” by The College Board National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA).

“We build relationships with kids. Most of our competitors are amateurs, providing college preparation services just part time or online and working with just 10 or 20 students. We establish one-on-one relationships with students,” says Class 101 Founder and CEO Tom Pabin.

Class 101 is available to meet the need for college prep services in communities nationwide. We are currently registered, where necessary, to offer franchises in 40 states, and our existing franchisees are experiencing rapid growth through dedication to our mission — helping our students get into college affordably.


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