College Admissions Test Prep Goes Global with Santa Monica's ArborBridge

Responding to record numbers of international applicants to US colleges, ArborBridge pioneers online test prep

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Last year, 291,000 foreign nationals attended college in the United States. This cohort of international applicants, from literally every corner of the globe, was the largest such group in history. International enrollment is at an all time high, with an increase of over 50,000 students since 2006. This trend shows no sign of abating—education remains one of the United States' greatest exports, and Santa Monica's ArborBridge is uniquely positioned to take part in this education revolution.


Before these students can enroll, they face a profound disadvantage for one reason: standardized tests. International applicants typically take the same entrance exams that their domestic counterparts do: the SAT or ACT. But, unlike American students, international students often have little familiarity with these exams and scant access to high-quality tutoring.

To serve these students, ArborBridge, the world's leading provider of premium, one-on-one, live online SAT and ACT test preparation, is pleased to announce a new global initiative to bring high-quality test preparation to every corner of the world. ArborBridge is making its services available to prospective college applicants who are seeking the best tutors and most innovative curriculum for increasing their scores.

At a time when a difference of 100 or even 50 points could make the difference between acceptance and rejection, ArborBridge is dedicated to helping these students improve their odds.

"We are finding that there is a serious need for our services all over the world. International students have the same ambitions as do American students when they apply to US colleges, but until recently, they have had limited access to elite-level test prep because of their location," said Tim Urban, Co-Founder of ArborBridge. "We enable any student, no matter where he or she lives, to receive the same quality SAT or ACT test prep as a student from the most exclusive prep schools in New York or Los Angeles."

ArborBridge has made two key hires for this initiative.

Director of International Business Development: Josh Stephens

Longtime educator and college counselor Josh Stephens has joined ArborBridge as Director of International Development. Stephens has worked with hundreds of college applicants from around the world and will be traveling to schools and conferences around the world to introduce ArborBridge in person. ArborBridge connects its students to the world's best tutors via its online platform, but Stephens and ArborBridge's directors believe firmly that test prep, like all educational ventures, is best built on personal relationships.

"I cannot think of a more exciting time to join a company like ArborBridge and to introduce high school students to a crucial aspect of the college application process," said Stephens. "International students make profound cultural and intellectual contributions to their colleges. We have a chance to bring them an incredible service to help make their educational goals a reality. ArborBridge is globalization at its best."

Stephens most recently served as the Lead Editor for Application Boot Camp, the world's leading admissions workshop for applicants to US colleges, and previously was an award-winning teacher at the Archer School for Girls in his native Los Angeles. Stephens, who has also coached students on the SAT, scored a 1550 on the original 1600-point exam and a perfect 1600 on the Graduate Record Exam.

Director of Instruction: Kate Ballard-Rosa

Kate Ballard-Rosa also recently joined ArborBridge's impressive team as its Director of Instruction, ensuring that ArborBridge continues to deliver elite instruction as the company rapidly grows. Formerly ArborBridge's highest rated tutor, who scored 2400 on the SAT as a high school student herself, Ballard-Rosa develops the curriculum and training for ArborBridge's tutors. She faces the unique task of helping the world's best tutors become even better by using ArborBridge's online platform, enabling them to created lessons uniquely tailored to every student, whether they are in Santa Monica, Hong Kong, London, or anywhere in between.

"Working with students online not only allows me to connect with students I could normally never reach, but actually maximizes the student experience by utilizing cutting edge technology and programs that today's tech savvy student uses in his or her day to day life. Furthermore, because tutor selection is no longer limited by location, I am excited to be working with the best in the industry to bring ArborBridge's elite tutoring to every corner of the globe. "

AborBridge's success is a product of both Silicon Beach and Silicon Alley, with roots in the startup cultures of Santa Monica and New York City. ArborBridge grew out of its sister company, Launch Education Group, a full-service traditional tutoring firm with offices in Los Angeles and New York. Both companies are founded and managed by childhood friends Andrew Finn and Tim Urban.

"Being based in Los Angeles and New York has real advantages for us," says Finn. "It gives us local access to the two best pools of tutors in the country, and being on the ground in both coasts allows us to stay on the cutting edge with all the new developments in education and technology."

About ArborBridge

Founded in 2011, ArborBridge is now working with students from 15 countries on five continents. ArborBridge's exclusive curriculum has helped students increase their scores by an average of over 200 points on the SAT, which is scored out of a total of 2400. On the strength, in part, of these increases, ArborBridge students have gained admission to highly selective colleges, including Stanford, Cal Tech, NYU, and Columbia.

ArborBridge can be found on the web at

Media Contact: Josh Stephens ArborBridge, 3103515350,

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SOURCE ArborBridge



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