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 social integration, life balance, and executive functioning coaching services that are applicable to a young adult’s transition to independence.
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 reenter college after a pause. Although full-time status is important to have University housing, it is not required at Focus Collegiate.
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.
What is the background of your staff?
Our staff has many years of successfully working with young adults. Our team members generally have a minimum of a master’s degree or above in higher education, special education, occupational therapy, social work, or a related field and an average of 10 years experience. Our coaches connect with our students to create strong and resonant relationships in order to help them further their short- and long-term goals and increase transparency throughout the experience.
How often do you “meet” with your students?
We meet our students when and where they need us, including virtually. The frequency and duration of our scheduled, weekly meetings are determined as we approach each semester and are different for each student. Some students benefit from a lot of structure, some need more responsive support. All students benefit from timely responsiveness and the ability to “ramp up” support when necessary. If it does not make sense to keep a specific meeting, then we will shift the time to provide other areas of support throughout the week. It is the definition of what we call “unbounded support”.
How much are you really available?
We strive to be available as much as our students need us, which is a benefit of a team model. 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 response to an issue during regular hours. When not in person, our teams use text, phone, video conferencing, email, and Google Workspace to communicate with their students and are flexible in using the mode that works best.
Which Colleges are in your in-person radius?
What does a daily schedule look like for a typical student?
Each student has a different schedule, but they look like typical college students’ schedules. Our students meet with their team several times a week and we wrap sessions around their classes and other social, sports, or work activities they may be participating in. Since our programming is individualized, we take advantage of the opportunities available on the student’s campus for extra-curricular activities.
How often do you communicate with parents?
Parents are an active collaborator in their student’s pathway to independence. We update parents weekly through email communication and typically monthly via phone or video conferencing. We also provide parent education and coaching sessions twice a month, and while these are not mandatory, we often have parents attending them to meet other parents and get feedback about a particular topic. Typically we engage our parents in the summer or prior to the semester to prepare them both logistically and emotionally.
Do you have a summer program?
Yes. We have a three-week Summer Cohort exclusively for college students looking to learn more about how they can set themselves up for success in the fall semester. Some students will continue on with Focus Collegiate in the fall and receive our support throughout their year (strongly encouraged), and some will just participate in our Summer Cohort as a stand-alone experience. Either way, they get valuable skills, strategies and resources to take with them as they start or continue their collegiate journey. Click Here for details.
Where are your offices?
We meet students when and where they need us. That means we are generally mobile throughout the region, spending our time on-campus with students or working virtually. We also operate out of a network of co-working spaces where we can also meet with students if the need arises.
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 teams are outfitted with multiple travel options to be as responsive as necessary. The Collegiate Virtual platform also ensures that we can “be” there in an instant.
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. There is a list of colleges our students have attended here but we are capable of working with most college situations at most universities.
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 an academic year (including preparation time), which is usually 9 months. When a student is ready and demonstrates certain competencies to warrant a step down in service, we adjust the price accordingly at the beginning of the academic year, by cutting the monthly price in half. Our goal is to eventually “work” ourselves out of a job.
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.
Are you a residential program?
No, we believe that the best way for our students to successfully transition to college is through building their on-campus network/community. Students live on their college campus or in off campus housing that we do not provide. Our Summer Cohort is a three-week residential college-readiness program in the Back Bay of Boston. (click here for more information).
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!
When can I start?
Typically students start with us just prior to their traditional semester and/or participate in our Summer Cohort. It is ideal for incoming first year students to attend our Summer Cohort to gain a better understanding of collegiate expectations, but also to build relationships with our teams in anticipation of fall semester. We have rolling in-person and Collegiate Virtual enrollment, but are often at capacity well before the start of the semester. Additionally, if we have availability, we can become involved mid-semester, but usually it is a recovery mission, not a rescue one.