Amy Jeffrey '15 is the founder of makemeafreshman.com, an free online resource which provides application guidance for prospective college students.
Applying to college is complicated. Every college has its own set of forms and deadlines, and each student who applies must comb through different websites to figure out his or her specific requirements. It is too easy for students to miss important deadlines, especially for students in schools with over-worked counselors and limited resources.
Shortly after graduating from my California public high school, I returned there to help students by creating and teaching SAT and College Prep classes. During these classes, I wished that there was a website where any student could choose colleges and see a comprehensive, personalized checklist with all of his or her specific requirements, so I applied for the IOP’s Gov 2.0 Grant with the hope of creating such a site.
Winning this grant allowed me to build a prototype, pilot the site with hundreds of students and their counselors, and initially validate the concept. Since then, I have continued to develop Make Me a Freshman, and I received an investment from a venture capital firm that will allow me to continue working on this site fulltime now that I have graduated from Harvard College.
We just released the latest version of MakeMeAFreshman.com. With the free website, students can choose their colleges and specify their standardized testing, financial aid, and early decision preferences, and our software generates a step-by-step checklist that explains exactly how and when to apply, with reminders and alerts along the way. Students can use this free website without any help from a counselor, or the site can serve as a supplement to a counselor. With the counselor portal, counselors can consolidate all the activity of their student advisees, track their progress, and add their own tasks for students to complete. These features will allow counselors to focus on more high-level discussions while staying informed about their students’ progress.
Without the Gov 2.0 Grant, none of this would be possible, and I am so grateful for the opportunities that this grant provided me, allowing me to turn an idea into a venture-backed company that I believe can help students from all backgrounds. I realize we still have a lot of work to do to help students and counselors, so if you have any suggestions or questions, please email me at email@example.com.
Amy Jeffrey '15
Former Member, JFK Jr. Forum Committee