Sylvan Learning Opens Chicago for Franchise Sales; Plans More Than 18 New Centers in the Region by 2011

Existing Corporate Centers Also Available in Schaumburg, Wheaton & Frankfort

BALTIMORE, Aug. 27 // PRNewswire // -- Sylvan Learning, Inc., North America's most recognized provider of supplemental education, is rapidly expanding its national footprint with today's announcement that Chicago, IL is now open for franchise sales. Sylvan Learning is seeking franchisees to develop 18 new centers in the region, as well as purchase three of its existing corporate-owned centers in Schaumburg, Wheaton and Frankfort.

Sylvan Learning currently operates approximately 1,100 centers worldwide in 49 states and six provinces in Canada, as well as 10 countries. With unprecedented franchise sales growth of more than 150 percent in 2008, Sylvan Learning is now seeking franchisee candidates in Chicago to be a part of a national expansion plan to increase its U.S. presence over time. Currently, there are 40 Sylvan Learning centers operating throughout Illinois. Including Schaumburg, Wheaton, and Frankfort, there are 28 centers located in Northeast Illinois.

"To fuel this growth in and around Chicago, Sylvan Learning is actively seeking qualified franchisees who possess an entrepreneurial spirit, have a passion for the communities they will serve, and are interested in helping children develop the skills, habits and attitudes that lead to lifelong success," said Curt Hapward, Sylvan Learning's vice president of franchising.

Sylvan has served more than two million students since 1979. In 2008, Sylvan Learning was ranked number 57 in Franchise Times magazine's "Top 200 Systems" based on total number of units and has been ranked 24 times in Entrepreneur magazine's "Franchise 500 Ranking," the industry's premier franchise ranking. Most recently, Sylvan was named one of the "25 Top Franchises for Hispanic American ownership" by Poder Enterprise magazine, and was ranked in Bond's "Top 100 Franchises."

"In an economy where unemployment is on the rise, we are finding that the supplemental education market is surprisingly resilient, and as a result, there has been increased interest from entrepreneurs who are looking to join the Sylvan Learning family," said Hapward. "We will be looking for our new and existing franchisees to continue to satisfy a growing demand in markets like Chicago for high quality, individualized supplemental education."

One Chicago entrepreneur, Amy Jorgensen, joined Sylvan Learning's growing network of franchisees in 1999 when she found that practicing law and starting a family with her husband was difficult to balance. Over the past decade, she has expanded from one Sylvan Learning center to seven centers located throughout the Greater Chicago area. She has purchased corporate-owned centers, as well as opened new centers, and plans to open another center in the Chicago area by the end of the year.

"I would strongly recommend Sylvan as a business opportunity. Sylvan Learning not only offers exceptional programs, they provide the support and training needed to be a successful businessperson," said Jorgensen. "Sylvan is a mature, well-established company, which gives you security, and also is progressive and innovative, which gives you limitless possibilities for future growth."

There are additional opportunities in hundreds of communities across the U.S. for prospective franchisees to purchase a territory and start their own Sylvan Learning center. In addition to Schaumburg, Wheaton, and Frankfort, Illinois, Sylvan has identified more than 35 existing corporate-owned centers in the greater areas of Dallas, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Houston, Washington D.C., Salt Lake City, Sacramento and Orlando that the company is interested in converting to franchised centers. In those markets, interested franchisees have the potential to generate revenue from these existing centers ranging from $200,000 to $1 million.

Sylvan franchisees benefit from a $40 million advertising and marketing program designed to drive enrollment and conversion. In addition, all franchisees experience an unparalleled training program that prepares them, with or without educational experience, with the tools they need to succeed as business owners.

About Sylvan Learning

Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of in-center, online and at home tutoring to students of all ages, grades and skill levels. With 30 years of experience and approximately 1,100 centers located throughout North America and abroad, Sylvan's proven process and personalized instructional methods have inspired more than two million students to discover the joy of learning. Sylvan's trained and certified instructors provide individual instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, study skills and test-prep for college entrance and state exams. Sylvan helps transform unique kids into uniquely inspired learners with the skills to do better in school and the confidence to do better in everything else.

SOURCE Sylvan Learning, Inc.

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