Sheila McBride’s son was college bound with a scholarship to play basketball but he wasn’t on track to succeed academically in college. Sheila was determined to ensure that her son would graduate high school, meet the NCAA academic requirements, and thrive in the classroom. She created a system that started as an excel sheet to track all of the important information about her son’s academic life as well as college requirements. Once her son graduated high school and went on to play college basketball on a scholarship other parents in similar situations began approaching her for help. She began formalizing her system and GradeCheck was born.
GradeCheck utilizes a sophisticated program to help high school student-athletes achieve their dreams of playing sports in college by helping improve their academic success. The program utilizes data and information to track where students stand to help determine where they need to go—GradeCheck has an online national database with information from every single high school in the country as well as college requirements and scholarship details. GradeCheck tracks a student’s GPA, courses, and test scores, and helps set goals to graduate and meet NCAA academic requirements. Besides the robust program, GradeCheck provides valuable mentoring and referrals to trusted people who are in positions to help with anything from SAT tutoring to picking the right classes.
One in three Detroit student athletes don’t qualify to play in the NCAA based solely on academic requirements. The requirements to play sports in high school are often much lower than in college so students get blindsided by the more rigorous requirements in place at the college level. GradeCheck is committed helping these student-athletes not only qualify to play sports in college but to do well while they are there.
GradeCheck sells two kind of annual memberships to individual students—Platinum and Gold. In addition, GradeCheck works with high schools around the country to implement their system to help their students. They have students from all over the country, including California and Mississippi. Despite the national reach, there is a strong focus on giving back to the community and helping local kids.
So far, Sheila and GradeCheck have invested a lot of time and money into improving the system to make it as easy and useful as possible for students. Moving forward, Sheila plans on ramping up marketing and public relations efforts in order to increase brand awareness for GradeCheck. She also plans on establishing a non-profit arm to give students who can’t afford it access to the benefits of a GradeCheck membership. GradeCheck is a purpose-driven company that continues to strive to help student-athletes transform their lives by earning university scholarships.