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Academic Support Info

6 Things to Know When Looking for Academic Support!

Academic support for students has a broad range of options including tutoring.   What works best for your family depends on several factors.  Here are 6 things to keep in mind as you look for academic support.

1. Watch this video with five tips on things to think about when looking for a tutor or other academic service provider.

2. Use the search tool to look for academic support providers in your area.

3. Know what your child needs help with.
Do you know what skills your child is struggling with? Is it subject specific, or do they need support with processing skills? If you know, you may be able to find someone to specifically help with that area.  If you do not know where to begin, an evaluation or testing can help to pinpoint the problem area(s) to determine what would be most helpful for your child.  Keep in mind that uncovering what is causing the struggle is key to finding a long-term solution.  Seeking help is just the first step!

Increases subject specific knowledge.
Increases related gneneral knowledge.
Heightens sense of competency toward subject area.

Improves the brain's ability to process infomration in any subject.
Unlocks skills that hinder comprehension, word recognition & memorization.
Creates confidence towards all learning.

4. Types of academic support providers

There are a wide variety of service levels, and program options, along with graduate education and subject matter expertise of service providers. It is important to ask for a consultation to understand the provider and their process so it can meet your expectations. 

  • 1 on 1 vs. groups.  While one-on-one support can often be most effective, it can be costly.  Small group tutoring can also be effective while lowering costs. 
  • General education vs. curriculum specific support. Some support providers offer general education around a topic, while others may offer classes geared toward district curriculum. 
  • Help with multiple subjects vs. targeted support in a particular area.  Some larger providers may offer help with a broader selection of subjects while smaller companies or private tutors tend to focus on more limited, specific subject matter.

Large tutoring companies
Larger companies including national franchises:

Small local companies
Smaller companies

Private Tutors
Individual private tutors

Can offer an evaluation for a fee along with individual or group tutoring.

May offer an evaluation for a fee with the ability to customize a support plan.

Will help your student with what you ask them to but may not do an evaluation. 

Programs tend to be comprehensive therefore costs can be higher.

Have greater flexibility in adjusting programs and costs to meet your budget.

Typically offer more flexibility in scheduling and often target specific subject areas. 

Offer support at the center in which you signed up for service.

Offer support at the center. Their methods of support are unique to their company.

Might offer to tutor at your home or meet at a mutually convenient location.

Are licensed, bonded, and insured.

Are licensed, bonded, and insured.

Might not be licensed, bonded, or insured as it is not required.











5. Financing
Be sure to determine your budget for outside academic support.  While the Foundation’s academic grant can help with the cost, it will not cover the full cost of academic support needed for most students.  Do you have financial resources to contribute toward academic support for your student?  Are you willing to explore other sources to help cover the cost?  The costs vary depending on the needs of your child.  Keep in mind what resources you have available to contribute to this support for your student.  Some companies offer financing options, so it is good to ask what is available.

6. Transportation
Can you offer your child transportation to the tutor of your choice?  You will need to transport your student to the tutoring company’s location on a regular basis unless you have found a private tutor willing to come to your home.  (If you have agreed with the tutor to meet at your home or a mutually convenient location, be sure another adult is nearby during the sessions.) To benefit from tutoring, you must remain committed to being consistent in ensuring your child attends all agreed upon sessions.  Be aware of cancellation and no-show fees.

*NOTE: If paid tutoring is not within your budget (even with grant support), there are free options such as 425 Tutoring where high school student volunteers offer free tutoring support to K-6th grade students.


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