Frequently Asked Questions
How can a student choose a specific tutor?
Students of Strength users are paired with tutors based on subject needs, time requested, and a simple questionnaire that matches comparable hobbies, interests, and traits.
For school district and enterprise packages, dozens of tutors will be paired with schools on a semester basis. All tutors work with the unique culture and curriculum of a particular school, and stay with the same groups of students throughout the semester. Students are able to request specific tutors and list “favorites” in the app. Students also can request these same tutors at home on the SOS app.
Can a student request a tutor that is unavailable?
Tutors set their availability on a weekly basis. If a desired tutor is unavailable at a given time, the student may choose from one of the recommended available tutors or look at their preferred tutor’s schedule to arrange for a session at a convenient time.
We also plan to release a forthcoming feature that pings tutors via text or email when they are directly requested. The tutor will have the option to list themselves as available.
How do teachers see what students did with a tutor? Can we give them access to the replay and/or whiteboard pages?
Yes, we can give teachers and school administrators access to the PDF of the whiteboard, the audio and video of the tutoring sessions, and a link to the specific unit in the curriculum the tutor worked from during the session.
Can students submit homework that they worked on during a tutor session?
We can incorporate this as a submit button. Students can turn in a document to their teacher or school admin that will also be seen by the tutor as well as the guardian connected to their account.
Can a teacher “deal” assignments on a per-session basis, like a deck of cards?
On the admin portal, we can allow teachers to delegate assignments or worksheets to students. They also can set “due dates” and leave “notes” for the student and tutor to see.
If a student originally joins the system as a school district package user, can they, or their parent, pay for additional sessions, like a standard SOS customer?
Yes, students can add credits at anytime via credit card or PayPal from home. We also will create a scholarship application that allows users to redeem an additional stipend from our foundation, if they require additional financial support.
How are we different?
Typically, tutors are individuals with some extra time and knowledge of a specific subject. While other tutoring companies simply seeks to pair subject tutors and students, SOS works closely with our team to provide resources, a comprehensive tutoring training program, entry testing benchmarks from college entrance exams and GPA, feedback and performance requirements, as well as other addition professional tutor support to ensure our students’ success.
SOS builds communities of strong students through taking an empathetic and innovative approach to education and learning. This social mission sets us apart from others tutoring companies. We firmly believe that brilliance can be fostered in any eager young mind and that a lack of resources should never stand between any student and their academic success. Because this belief lies at the heart of who we are as a company, SOS is committed to providing premier academic services to students of all socioeconomic background.
Further, SOS focuses not only on students’ academic success, but also in their character and life skills building. Through our peer mentorship program, students have the ability to build new and better habits to ensure their success in all aspects of life. Since all of our academic coaches are students currently enrolled in college, they are able to provide powerful and relevant peer mentorship and guidance through the college application process while earning a competitive wage. Our recruiting process and training ensures that our coaches are not only able to master and teach their material effectively, but that they are also able to relate to, engage with, and motivate the students they coach effectively.
Moreover, our different educational and engaging platforms seek to rebrand knowledge as fun, accessible, relatable, and desirable for our students. Through our team, our mobile applications and our other services, we seek to revolutionize learning in a way that makes children want to know more and associate intelligence with coolness.
How do we ensure student safety?
Understanding that our students’ ages range across middle school, high school, and college, we take their mental, emotional, and physical well-being seriously as these are their primary years of development.
Since our services are all done over a mobile application, there is no opportunity for sexual advancement or other forms of physical misconduct between student and tutor. To aid in our students’ safety, all of our tutors are vetted with comprehensive background checks. All tutoring sessions are recorded and archived to be reviewed and referenced at later dates in the event of a complaint against one of the involved parties. We seek to foster positive student-to-tutor relations and do not take harassment, abuse, or misconduct lightly, taking swift disciplinary action when needed.
How do we maintain quality control?
To ensure students receive the best academic assistance available, we recruit our tutors from the top-100 universities in the United States. All SOS tutor applicants must have a minimum score of 2000 on the SAT or a minimum score of 30 on the ACT, as well as a 3.3 grade point average or higher. From this group of top scholars, we only accept the best-of-the-best.
After each session, students can review their tutor via questions on their style, how helpful they were, whether they achieved appointed goals, etc. We carefully process each tutor review and circle back with our tutors to provide proper feedback. All feedback provided from teachers, parents, students and tutors is used to improve our system, software, tutor training, and other SOS related products.
Do I need a smartphone to use SOS?
Our app is available on Apple iOS and Android platforms. If you don’t have a smartphone, our system can be accessed via any Internet browser on a desktop computer or laptop.
Are your tutors really available 24/7?
Yes. Image thousands of college students up at all hours . . . And they’re always ready to help.
Is everything done via video chat?
Yes. It’s just like being face-to-face with a tutor, but you can meet them anywhere or anytime! SOS users work with real tutors in real time, using our powerful technology to help the learning process.
Is SOS affordable?
SOS is the most affordable tutoring and test prep service on the market. We charge half the price of the average tutoring company and our test prep packages are 40 percent less expensive than our leading competitor.
Does SOS help with the college application process?
Yes. We offer mentorship on issues from college selection to college applications. Unlike other services, our college-aged tutors and mentors just went through the process . . . and did pretty well for themselves!
How are tutors paired with students?
Students may request a gender preference and are paired with highly qualified tutors in the required subject.
How many tutors do you have?
We currently employ 3,600 tutors from top universities across the country.
Does SOS offer subject test prep?
Yes. SOS helps students the entire way through through the college testing process.
How do the different SOS pricing plans work for schools?
Schools get a 10 percent discount if they pay for 10 students or more, a 15 percent discount for 25 students or more, and a 25 percent discount for 50 students or more.
What does “personalized curriculum” mean exactly?
We learn from the student, parent or teacher what their deficiencies are and then assign practice problems, videos and online assignments to meet their needs. Tutors then create lessons and tailored tutoring approaches based on their exact weaknesses.
What about the organization perspective for schools? How do we logistically carry out these plans on a school wide level?
Whatever the school requires or needs in terms of logistics, we can accommodate.
How do pricing plans work at the school-wide level? How do schools keep track of the tutoring hours they buy?
Student gets their own accounts. On one hand, the school could buy 50 subscriptions and let as many students use up the hours as possible. Or, alternatively, schools could buy 1,000 hours to distribute among 50 students who have their own accounts.
How much is SOS per hour, without a subscription plan?
SOS costs $35 per hour.