Do students have to be enrolled in College to attend Focus Collegiate?
Yes. We are a college coaching to independence model. In addition to comprehensive academic support, we also offer many life skills and executive functioning coaching services that are applicable to young adult transition to independence. For our Summer Cohort, we build the class internally, so college registration is not required.
Do students have to be enrolled full-time in their college of choice?
No. In fact, many of our students take a reduced course load in their first semester or as they re-enter college after a pause. Although full-time status is important to have University housing, it is not required at Focus Collegiate if you live in the Boston area or want to take advantage of our relationship with the International Guest House and live on Beacon Street (click here for more info).
Are you a residential program?
No, but there is a independent living option. We do not provide residential support services as part of Focus Collegiate. Students live on their college campus or at the International Guest House (click here for more info). We do provide life skills training that may impact how a student performs in their own residential setting. Our Summer Cohort is a four-week residential college-readiness program in Boston and Virtual (click here for more information).
Which Colleges are in your radius?
We serve in-person most of the colleges in the Boston Area, Worcester, MA, and Providence, RI. Our services are most effective when the university works with us. If there are barriers to this collaboration, we discover them in the admissions process. Generally, if we can get there within 1 hour by rail or car from our offices, then we will make it happen. We are available nationwide through Collegiate Virtual.
Which College is the “best” for my student/me?
Although we know a great deal about Boston area colleges and others, we are not ideal for the college selection process. Many of our students work with their college counselors or educational consultants for this. We are happy to be a part of the solution when it becomes clear that the identified supports on the selected campus will not be adequate.
Where are your offices?
We meet students when and where they need us. That means we are generally mobile throughout the region, spending the majority of our time on-campus. When we meet with students and families during the admissions process, we do so at one of our shared working spaces in the Back Bay area of Boston, or in the Greater Boston area.
How often do you “meet” with your students?
We meet our students when and where they need us including virtually. Our formal meeting schedule is determined as we approach each semester and is different for each student. Some students benefit from a lot of structure, some need more responsive supports. If it does not make sense to keep a meeting, then we will shift the time to provide other areas of support throughout the week.
How much are you really available?
We strive to be available as much as our students need us. However, we are not a 24-7 on-call service. It is rare that a student would have to wait more than an hour to get a call/text back in response to an issue during regular hours. Our regular hours are 8:30-5:30 M-F Eastern Time. Evening and weekend support may be available by appointment.
How do you get to all the places you need to be?
We have a low staff-to-student ratio that ensures that we will be available and mobile. Our staff is outfitted with subway, bus, commuter rail, ferry, rental cars, and ride-sharing options to be as responsive as necessary. Collegiate Virtual platform also ensures that we can “be” there in an instant.
What does a daily schedule look like for a typical student?
Each student has a different schedule, but they look like a typical college student’s. Since our programming is individualized, we take advantage of the opportunities available on the students campus for extra-curriculars.
Do you run “groups” for your students?
Yes! We bring the Focus Collegiate group of students together several times a week for engagement with the broader community. We offer opportunities for students to attend Virtual Study Hall and Virtual Office Hours where we can address academic or other concepts as a group. We also have semi-weekly Hangouts where students can support each other or maintain relationships that students generated during the Summer Cohort. Although we offer these supports, we are completely committed to getting our students engaged in their college life and accessing opportunities on their campus.
What is the background of your staff?
Our staff has many years of successful young adult programming experience. They have also demonstrated the capacity to connect quickly with students long before they came to us. Our team members generally have a minimum of a master’s degree in social work, counseling, special education, occupational therapy, or a related field.
How often is your parent coaching and updates?
Typically we engage our parents in the summer prior to the semester to prepare both logistically and emotionally. We separate parent coaching from updates during the semester. Parents are updated regarding their student’s weekly, while coaching for specific parenting strategies occurs monthly.
When can I start?
Almost anytime! Due to the expansive academic offerings in Boston, we have rolling enrollment. Remotely through Collegiate Virtual, we also have the capacity to respond quickly. During the admissions process, we assess what the class options are and see if the current offerings are aligned with our students interests. Together, we determine the appropriate start time. Of course, many students start just prior to their traditional semester. If we have space, we can become involved mid-semester, but usually it is a recovery mission, not a rescue one and we are almost always at capacity at the beginning of each semester.
What is the cost of the private dormitory you have a relationship with?
The cost of the International Guest house is $2,100 per month. There are many amenities. For more information click here and/or contact us.
What is your tuition?
Our tuition is a flat rate per month of $3,000.00 which covers all of our services both in-person and virtually. We expect that students enroll with us for the duration of a semester (including preparation time), which is usually 4.5 months. If the college is on a quarter system, we pro-rate accordingly. Summers are also condensed to 3 month expected enrollment period. If a student enrolls mid-semester then we pro-rate as well.
Is tuition for college included in your price?
No. Since our students attend many different campuses, the tuition is separate and payable to that institution.
Is there financial aid for Focus Collegiate?
Generally no. Focus Collegiate is not a “qualified educational institution” in the eyes of the FAFSA or the IRS. However, many of our students take advantage of their financial aid awards and scholarships from their university. Occasionally, some families utilize tax strategies for funding Focus Collegiate. Additional savings can be accessed through the ABLE Act for current or future 529 holders. Please ask for details during the admissions process.
Why don’t you charge by the hour?
We believe that it is virtually impossible to gauge how many hours of support a student will need throughout the course of a semester or a college career to be successful. Since our outcomes are aligned with our students, we choose to have a flat rate to address the variability of needs that a student will experience throughout the semester.
Do you have a summer program?
Yes. We have our three week Summer Cohort exclusively for in-bound Fall FC students! Click Here for details.
Also, if students are taking summer classes, we are here to support them in-person or virtually. If in Boston, they must have housing on campus to be eligible and/or the International Guest House is an option (click here for more details).
Do you provide “Remote” support?
Yes! We do through Collegiate Virtual and also in a hybrid manner with our in-person students. We will assess a student’s suitability for remote support at any College or University that is outside of our Boston region. Ideally, a student will attend our Summer Cohort and demonstrate the capacity to utilize our services appropriately in a remote manner.
Our services thrive in major urban centers with robust and diverse communities providing multiple academic options for our students. Boston is perfect for this with over 235,000 college students and 40+ academic institutions. Let’s also not forget to mention the major sports venues, arts, culture, and vibrancy!
How do I get a Focus Collegiate to come to my town/school?
We are available across the country through Collegiate Virtual! Our remote support expertise has been proven highly effective for the right student.
We are always encouraged by this question on the in-person side. Boston is our pilot region, but there are certainly other urban centers around the country that would fit our model. Students who attend our Summer Cohort and demonstrate important qualifying criteria.
We welcome ideas and feedback on how we can serve more students in-person. I know you will appreciate that success for our current students is our passion, so we are keeping our eye on that ball, for now.