Despite never attending college himself, Craig Gehring, founder and CEO of standardized test prep company MasteryPrep, wants to see students, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, succeed when they take the ACT and SAT.
“We are here to serve the students who can’t access traditional test preparation,” Gehring said. “We’re here to help students who come from [lower] income backgrounds, who might be a first generation college student, and we help them get the scores they need to earn scholarships and go to college.”
Founded in 2013 in Baton Rouge, MasteryPrep’s services are free to students in 47 states and Guam through partnerships with 700 school districts. MasteryPrep, an anchor member of the Tech Park, provides schools with resources, software and curriculum to prepare students for success, filling the gaps traditional education may leave on the road to preparation for college.
Earning a perfect ACT and SAT score when he took the tests at Baton Rouge High School, Gehring began tutoring students in the different skills necessary to improve their scores, especially to earn TOPS, Louisiana’s merit scholarship program for those attending the state’s public universities.
“I learned that the skills you needed to get to a 21 [the TOPS minimum for the ACT at the time] were very different than traditional test prep programs, which were really aimed for higher score ranges,” Gehring said.
While he did not attend college, Gehring has years of experience with real-world entrepreneurship. “After high school, it was the school of hard knocks,” he said. “In addition to tutoring, I started a marketing firm, Ring Marketing, which was really just myself for a long time.”
How things have changed. Since eventually founding his own business, which now has about 200 employees, Gehring and MasteryPrep’s service has expanded to include over 400,000 students annually. The company’s next goal is to provide test prep services to 1 million students a year. 13