Tales of a College Coach Workplace Event

College Coach, a Bright Horizons solution at work, helps clients' employees get better results from their children's educational process by providing expert guidance in areas such as school-age study skills, college admissions, and higher-ed savings and loan management. College Coach finance expert Robert Weinerman recently visited the California office of a corporate client to deliver two programs:

Each program consisted of an overview presentation followed by one-on-one counseling sessions, which allowed Robert to address the more personal college finance needs of individual employees.

A Unique Employee Benefit with Real Advantages for Employee and Employer

Robert, a former MIT financial aid officer, finds that visiting this client is especially rewarding because, "the employees really take advantage of my being there, and it makes me feel good when they tell me they signed up to meet with me because a colleague told them to." Employee reviews of the programs were glowing, with every employee participating in a personalized educational advising counseling session with Robert and completing an evaluation of the experience rating both the service and the expert himself with a 5 out of 5 rating. We consistently find that the College Coach benefit helps boost employee retention and this program is no exception, with 100% of participants reporting that the session increased their positive feelings towards their employer.

Here are some of the things employees said about access to this benefit via the recent workshops:

  • "Excellent information about strategies to finance college education.  Knowledgeable expert."
  • "It allows me to focus on my work and not my kids' college."
  • "It's an excellent resource for employees with college bound kids."
  • "I am very busy and this was very convenient."
  • "Awesome benefit that other companies don't offer."

Expertise to Minimize Employee Stress; Maximize Aid and Admissions Results

Bright Horizons has found that the soaring costs of college are degrading the well-being of those employees with children. These on-site workplace events allowed Robert to address many employees' concerns about the costs of college for their children, and offer them strategies to both save for college in tax-advantaged ways and maximize need- and merit-based financial aid opportunities. He found employee stress was especially high in relation to the new Middle Class Scholarship being offered by the state of California.  Many employees were aware of the new program, but he, "quickly learned that people did not understand the way it was being phased in over time or how the funds would be awarded.  I was glad I was able to help them understand this and make sure people who would be eligible understood what the program might do for them specifically."

In addition to college finance programming, this technology company also offers College Coach's college admissions services:  College Admissions:  An Insider's View.  Weinerman spoke to many employees who had concerns about college admissions and valued College Coach's expertise in that area.  "California residents are aware that their children have access to great public colleges, but these colleges are really tough to get into. They appreciate that we are there and can present strategies to help their children get into their preferred UC and CSU schools, but also that we can help them find alternatives in case their children don't get into their top schools.  

A lot of employees who had seniors in high school mentioned the College List [prepared by College Coach for individual employees to aid in their child's college selection process] and the advice they received from their Admissions educator."

Written by: Shannon Vasconcelos

About the Author

Shannon works with Bright Horizons Education & College Advising corporate clients to deliver college financing workshops and provide personalized counseling to employees. She has over 10 years of experience in student financial assistance, at Boston University and Tufts University, and has also served as an active member of MASFAA’s Early Awareness and Outreach Committee, as a trainer for DOE’s National Training for Counselors and Mentors, and as a volunteer for FAFSA Day Massachusetts.