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Case Studies

Student Success at Grove Prep

As educators, our greatest joy is when students use what they’ve learned to take their lives to the next level. Success doesn’t always look like perfect grades or test scores: sometimes it’s the victory of mastering a difficult math skill or turning in a fully proofread essay. At Grove Prep, we believe that the greatest form of success is the long-term change in a student’s self-perception. Read below for some of our favorite stories of student growth and transformation.


Athlete gets straight As

Oliver started working with us in the seventh grade and stayed with one tutor through middle and high school. As a middle schooler he was resistant to math and all forms of homework. By the end of high schools, he was a three-sport athlete, brought his GPA from a 3.1 to a 4.0, and received a $3000-per-year scholarship to the University of Oregon to study sports marketing: his dream school and his dream program. Now he studies statistics and econ with our college-level tutors.

We are most proud of Oliver for:

The decision he made his sophomore year: that he wanted to attend the University of Oregon and would do whatever it took to get there. He got organized, took his studies seriously, and was rewarded with exactly what he wanted.


Academically disinterested fashion designer wins huge scholarship

Stella did not want to go to college. She had a 2.9 GPA, didn’t like school, and felt overwhelmed about the college application process.

What she loved was fashion design. She could make a tote bag out of a pillowcase in just a few hours (true story). She made intricate wood stamps in her spare time. She had a summer job with a fashion designer in NYC. 

Then, in late December of her senior year, she decided to apply to fashion school. She saw her tutor several sessions a week, wrote her Common App essay, finished the supplements, completed her portfolio, and applied to nine schools in both the US and Europe.

Within a few weeks, Stella had letters in the mail: acceptances to Savannah College of Art and Design, Moore, Pace, Kent State, Richmond in London, the American University in Paris, and the Istituto Marangoni in Milan. She also won $104,000 in scholarships.

We are most proud of Stella for:

Her follow-through. She decided she wanted to apply to college and she did it. Then she reaped the rewards!


Conquering learning challenges through humor

“For Halloween, I’m going to be a neck.”

“A what?”

“A neck. So that I can go up to all the kids dressed as vampires and say, ‘bite me’.”

William has an IEP and a learning disability, but that didn’t stop him from taking the ISEE. With a few tutoring sessions a week, he was able to learn the vocab, master the math concepts, and stay focused through the reading section. Not only did he do well on the test, but by applying the concepts he learned with his tutor he was able to catch up to the rest of his class. He’s now much more confident, and his sense of humor is still on point.

We are most proud of William for:

Taking the initiative to master his focus. Working with a learning disability can be tough, but William is tougher.


Build an essay out of robots

Mark loves to build things. He has the whole setup in his room: circuit boards, a soldering iron, some computers he built himself. He came to us for help on the SAT, and then again for college essays. According to him, English was not his strong suit, but that was because he felt that only “proper academic writing” was acceptable.

But college essays are not proper academic writing: they’re a chance to show admissions officers your passion. Mark’s Common App essay centered on his work with kids and his love for karaoke, and he was terrified that admissions committees wouldn’t take him seriously.

By April of his senior year he had over half a dozen acceptances to some of the best engineering schools in the country, including his favorite: the electrical engineering program at the University of Michigan.

We are most proud of Mark for:

Challenging his limiting belief that he couldn’t write a good essay. As evinced by his college acceptances, he can!


From F to A in math class

When Hera started tutoring as a seventh grader, she hated math. She didn’t understand why everyone was pressuring her to memorize her multiplication tables, and didn’t see any value in her assignments. She had an F in math. Her tutor helped her develop a daily study routine, and though Hera would much rather have been elsewhere, she committed and practiced every day. A year later, she said, “people don’t understand how important math is. I can’t believe I ever thought this was hard.” Her tutor wept.

Hera went on to discover that her true passion is writing. Once she didn’t have to worry about failing math anymore and had learned to rely on her daily study practice, she was able to devote more of her energy to creative pursuits. She has entered several writing competitions, and she’s now working on her newest passion: translating her poems into other languages.

We are most proud of Hera for:

Buckling down and memorizing even when she didn’t want to. Her newfound discipline is admirable and will serve her well in college.

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