A 22-year-old TikToker accepted by MIT, Yale, and Stanford is making six figures helping kids get into their dream colleges
For TikToker Gohar Khan—a 22 year old MIT grad—creating educational content geared towards college bound students came naturally.
Khan brainstormed tips and tricks that he wished would have been available when he was in high school. On TikTok as @goharsguide, Khan has 1.7 million loyal followers. He creates videos instructing academically-minded students on how to do their homework faster, ace essays, improve memorization and hack multiple choice tests.
Khan’s most high traffic video received over 6.9 million views and is a part of his “How to Find the Motivation for School” series. The four-part mini series details how to use techniques such as positive visualization, aggressive accountability group chats, and locating the “minimum viable step,” to get assignments completed.
Between his income as a TikTok creator and sponsored brand deals from Dell, Pearson, and more, Khan is easily netting a six figure salary, which Fortune independently confirmed using financial documents.
Here’s how he did it.
Dove into business and technology at an early age
Khan has always been above-average at learning new skills, which his parents could vouch for as he began creating websites at age 11.
“Really my journey within the creator economy, as they call it now, started when I was like, 10,” Khan told Fortune. “That’s when I made my first YouTube channel then I made my first blog. And I became very quickly obsessed with coding.”
Khan quickly also became “obsessed” with graphic design, and social media editing and development, and worked tirelessly to refine his skills in both middle school and high school. He was already showing entrepreneurial acumen at a young age as he dove into the world of online advertising. Khan was making “a couple hundred if not a couple thousand,” monthly from putting ads on his homemade websites at ages 11 and 12.
“My parents, every step of the way, were questioning what was going on,” Khan told Fortune. “I was just like, ‘oh, I need your tax information. So I can put it into Google Adsense.’ And I was 12 or 13 when I was doing that, and they were like ‘oh, what do you need this for?’ They asked, ‘why do you need my credit card info for this?’ and I was like, ‘just trust me.’ And so that’s really like the origin story of my interest in business.”
Created credibility as a model student
At Khan’s small Title I high school in Seymour, Connecticut, he achieved a 98.5 GPA on a 100-point scale and unsurprisingly, was a valedictorian. Because of his academic success, Khan had the “surreal experience,” of being accepted to six Ivy League schools—Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Dartmouth, and Cornell—as well as Stanford and MIT.
Khan ultimately chose to go to MIT because of the school’s great computer science program and because he was offered a full ride scholarship to attend. As a student that was accepted to eight of the most prestigious colleges in the country, Khan built a solid foundation for being able to offer educational tips and advice to others looking to follow in his footsteps.
Launched a TikTok
In June of 2020, Khan posted his first TikTok video, and was just creating “random” content that included memes for entertainment. Eventually, he mentioned in one of his videos that he graduated from MIT and the questions began to pour in. Commenters asked how he got in and wanted admissions tips to improve their chances.
“It had always been in the back of my mind that I wanted to start a business about college admissions or just kind of give advice about college admissions,” Khan told Fortune. “So I saw that as the perfect entry point.”
With each video where Khan posted tips, the number of comments and questions grew, creating a “snowball effect.” From June to September of 2020, his account grew from zero to 30,000 followers.
When Khan returned to MIT in the fall, he shifted his video style from portraying himself to doing narrated tabletop-style videos with DIY paper cut-outs, which is now a signature component of his content.
“Once I adapted that new style it allowed my account to go from 30,000 to 100,000, within roughly a week,” Khan told Fortune. “Then it was up to half a million by the end of 2020. And now it’s around 1.7 million.”
From there, Khan was able to leverage his growing audience to interested brands who were willing to pay for sponsored posts. In 2021, Khan made well into six figures from brand deals as he partnered with top companies like AT&T and his dream brand, Grammarly.
“So I remember for the longest time I was trying to work with Grammarly given my focus on essay writing, both in the business and in my videos,” Khan told Fortune. “And I was able to work with them last year towards the end, which I thought was great.”
Now that Khan has gotten his “white whale,” he no longer has an ideal brand but is currently working on private projects with a few new companies.
Co-founded his own business
Khan founded Next Admit, a college admissions counseling company, with his younger brother—a current junior at Harvard— in 2019. But they launched the business in Oct. 2020. His inspiration came from going through the admissions process alone as a first-generation student. Khan wanted to offer college counseling services that were accessible versus the unaffordable packages he encountered when he was a junior in high school.
“When I looked for counseling options, I found that most of them were very expensive, and were charging, you know, upwards of thousands of dollars for all in one counseling packages,” Khan told Fortune. “And so I had the idea to really create a company that was more targeted towards the students themselves, and also offered both an affordable and a very pleasant user experience. And I think with those two things combined, this is where the inception for Next Admit came from.”
Next Admit offers four key services—essay reviews, college application reviews, consultation calls and writing sessions. But essay reviews are the lifeblood of the business, as they make up around 80% of the incoming orders, according to Khan.
“I think my view is simply to make the most of what’s around me,” Khan told Fortune. “I’m just gonna give this my absolute all and see what comes my way.”
Never miss a story: Follow your favorite topics and authors to get a personalized email with the journalism that matters most to you.