Cool College Start-ups 2010

Jason Shah, INeedAPencil.com
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Jason Shah, INeedAPencil.com

A junior at Harvard University, Shah launched his SAT prep site INeedAPencil.com in 2006 when he was still in high school. The free site offers low-income students an alternative to pricier courses such as those at Kaplan and The Princeton Review. Students can log on to the site and choose from more than 60 lessons in math, reading, and writing, many of which use pop-culture and sports references to liven up the material. It's not just a gimmick -- a random sampling of the site's users showed an average improvement of 202 points on their SAT scores. INeedAPencil.com earns most of its revenue by generating leads for colleges and universities eager to recruit the site's 30,000 users, who can opt in to receive information about different schools.