Frequently Asked Questions

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1. When is the best time to have students get started with GATE?

GATE was researched and developed to offer support for all grade levels from 9-12. In broad strokes, this encompasses:

G: 9th grade

A: 10th grade

T: 11th grade

E: 12th grade

Because GATE is modular, it can be adapted at any grade level, based on facilitator recommendation. In our pilot program, we will particularly work with 10th-11th graders, and they will experience each section of the curriculum.

2. Who can see student information and academic progress in GATE?

​a. Administrators have this access, and are able to oversee student progress in a gradebook style spreadsheet.
b. Beneath administrative level, one or many facilitators have “facilitator access,” wherein they have access to their students on GATE’s Facilitator Dashboard.
c. The data research team working with GATE College System, Inc. will have access to assessment results within the platform, as well as trusted partners like the team at Red Kite's Scholarship Engine. All data is handled in strict FERPA compliance under the conditions outlined in 34 CFR § 99.31. All students must be over 13 years of age, per COPPA law

3. Who created GATE?

​33 professional educators have collaborated for 4+ years to innovate this digital college admissions solution, under the supervision of founder and CEO Pamela Donnelly. Learn more about Pamela here.

4. Why haven’t I heard of GATE before?

​GATE has been piloted in 7 states with trainings that have been used by thousands of students. The fact that it’s been created by the team at Valley Prep Tutoring, a well-reputed Los Angeles based educational services agency, means that locals in California will be more familiar, as well as those who have seen media coverage nationwide. Founder P. Donnelly has been featured by Time Magazine, Fox News, ABC, NBC, and other major PR outlets across the country. ​See media reel excerpts here.

5. Who can use GATE, and who shouldn’t?

​​GATE offers a highly effective college admissions tool for all students. As in any academic matter, local teachers and counselors are encouraged to leverage this tool in addition to their own on-site expertise in order to support students from whatever starting point they may begin when using the platform.

6. Can students who plan to attend community college benefit from GATE?

​Yes. Because GATE increases comprehension and strategies related to many types of courses students will face at that level, it is an appropriate curriculum for students aiming for community college rather than 4-year schools. Test prep will not be required, as the SAT and ACT are not requisite; however, the skills taught in that section provide benefits in confidence, cognition and on placement exams required by most community colleges.

7. How do students obtain a financial aid benefit as a direct result of GATE?

​​Students can directly applying for over $20 billion in scholarships through GATE's "A" section, as well as benefitting in terms of merit-based financial aid. GATE teaches students how to target the right scholarships, as well as providing guidance about confusing forms like the FAFSA and CSS Profile.  Since colleges often assess institutional aid on the basis of strong SAT/ACT scores, GPAs and essays, the trainings in GATE can provide a competitive advantage. The intention of the curriculum is to not only help teens gain acceptance to right-fit colleges, but also to directly facilitate the means for affording tuition.

8. Does each student need a separate account?

Yes. Once a student has an account, it is non-transferable.

​9. When students add their schools to their Lists 1, 2 and 3 are those colleges notified?

​No. GATE has no commercial relationship with colleges. The purpose of the lists is for students to organize their thinking, and to be able to consider which colleges, if any, they think they may wish to attend. 

1​0. Is there a way to give credit for full completion of GATE as an academic course?

​This will be at the discretion of the school or program utilizing the program. It can count as an elective program for schools and organizations seeking to optimize student outcomes related to college acceptance and readiness. In some states, GATE is beginning to explore "between the bells" availability as a certified course. 

​"​Through working with my students and exploring the facilitator side [of GATE] I have found many useful lessons the students could take back into the classroom and utilize...a positive experience branching many discussions for post-secondary."

​Patrick Dake , ​Counselor - New Jersey

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