By Alicia Wanek
I’m proud to say that my twin daughters have made their college decisions, were accepted into the universities they wanted to attend, have each gotten some scholarship funds, and will be starting their freshman year in the fall. The road to get to this point, however, has not been without its bumps, curves, and road blocks. Navigating college admissions has been a bit overwhelming, especially times two. I didn’t expect it to be such a process. I mean, I have a Master’s degree, and I’ve written about this exact topic for this magazine for years. Looking back, I wish I knew that there were people who could have been on this road with us all along.
Cram Crew founder and president, Deepak Thadhani has been in the business of helping kids get to college for two decades. Though arduous at times, there is a process to success in finding the right college fit for your child, and as with anything, seeking advice from a knowledgable and reliable source to guide you through the process is a life-saver.
Deepak recognizes that all of us want what’s best for our children, and often times, that includes finding the best resources to support them. Cram Crew focuses on the students and what they want, not the parents. Like a GPS, Cram Crew helps them track their way to the destination, but the students remain in the driver’s seat. “When we have engaged clients, where they land is due to their own hard work with our guidance,” he emphasizes.
The goal at Cram Crew is to put the decision-making in the hands of the students. The advisor talks to the students to find out what their end goals are and works backward to help them become a reality. For some it’s higher test scores to be more competitive, for some it’s scholarship funds, and for others it’s assistance in identifying colleges that are the best fit. “We help them understand the value of their decisions, but at the end of the day it’s up to them.” The team can help identify what steps to take and when to take them to maximize their chances of getting into the colleges they want.
This is truly a calling for Deepak, and he came into the business through his own experiences. He’d always been very good at math, and with some pressure from his parents he ended up at Georgia Tech studying engineering. He realized that wasn’t a fit for him despite his strength in math, so he decided to go into medicine and ended up with degrees in Math and Biology. Despite preparations for medical school, he ultimately made the choice to get his MBA from the University of Houston. He knows the importance of not letting the parents’ wishes for their kids drive the decision, and that’s why the focus at Cram Crew is on giving students a strategic, competitive advantage to help them achieve what they want to do.
The company originally started with at-home tutoring and moved on to test preparation. Eight years ago, they added what they call “college readiness.” “College admission is made up of a collection of things,” Deepak says. GPA, SAT scores, academic rigor, community service—it’s all considered together. He admits it may seem overwhelming because there are so many moving parts. And, of course, there are all the terms—Naviance, Common App, etc. “It may seem like a lot of unknowns, but we’ve been doing this long enough, so we can help them through,” Deepak explains. Being Texas-grown, locally owned, and not franchised, they can really focus on each individual family.
Deepak recognizes that using the services at Cram Crew is an investment, but he says, “The return on the investment in phenomenal…Engaging in a process like ours provides comfort and confidence.”
That kind of assurance would have been priceless over the last couple of years. At least now I know how to achieve that security for my younger two kids…
Editor’s Note: Cram Crew services are available throughout North Texas. To learn more about how they can help your child, visit cramcrew.com or call 713.464.2726.