APlus Test Prep turns test scores into scholarships

By Durham Chamber of Commerce / Published 06.11.19
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APlus Test Prep has been in business for eight years, has served over 10,000 families across North Carolina, and has helped students earn over $6.5 million dollars in four-year scholarship offers.

“We are proud of having started this business as a conversation at our kitchen table,” said Sheba Brown, Co-owner. “Our goal is to have our first APlus Test Prep franchisee by 2021 so we can increase our reach to 50,000 families.”

Who/what was the inspiration behind your business?

Our parents stressed education all our lives. Both of us worked in public education for a number of years & love to teach. As parents of four kids ourselves, we understand firsthand what parents are feeling as they help their students through the process of planning for life after high school. Given that the cost of college has risen so much over the years, we want to help families be able to afford higher education for their children by helping students be eligible for scholarships.

How many employees do you have? How many were hired in the last year?

We already had two full-time employees & three part-time team members and have added three new team members this year.

What business or community need does your business meet?

Our focus is education and economic development because #scoresopendoors to opportunities in education and career. We help students feel more confident and score higher on standardized tests.  Our elementary focus includes helping students prepare for grade-level tests such as EOGs.  Our middle and high school learners experience success in our SAT, ACT, ASVAB, & WorkKeys classes. Adult learners focus on professional exams such as LSAT, GRE, Praxis, and GED.

What is the biggest business challenge your company/business has had to overcome? How did you do it?

In the beginning, our biggest challenge was developing our brand and earning the community's trust. We simply did what we do best: teach.  Our passion for helping our students speaks for itself: our top five students alone earned over $6.5 million dollars in four-year scholarship offers.

What is your business’ greatest need?

Our greatest need is finding people who are as passionate about education and culturally competent enough to work with all students, especially those from underserved communities.

What are you most proud of about your business?

We are most proud of having started APlus via a conversation at our kitchen table and by the end of the 2018-2019 school year, having served over 10,000 families across NC, reaching students in every area code.  Our partnerships extend heavily to other minority- and women-owned businesses.  Our 7th annual flagship community give-back event Kickoff to College and Career will be held September 28, 2019, at which we're expecting over 1500 families!

In what ways do you hope your business will grow in the next two years?

Our goal is by 2021 to have our first APlus Test Prep franchisee and increase our reach across NC to 50,000 families.