Education is an ever evolving industry, but one that is sometimes evolving more so due to the work of individual corporations or schools rather than large scale curricular change.
One facet of this industry is the ever growing market for tutoring services: Over the last decade or so there has been a massive paradigm shift in regards to tutoring. While it was once a practice that was frowned upon and considered “cheating” in high school, many students across Victoria now receive private in-home tutoring, attend large tutoring classes, participate in lecture workshops and various other out-of-school services in order to get a leg up.
But the one thing about tutoring that hasn’t changed is the inherent financial privilege that comes with it. Students who have access to this service are usually the ones that can pay around $50 per hour for a tutor.
I’m not saying that tutors are over-charging; the good ones have valuable knowledge, experience and insights into VCE, as well as a history of helping students massively. You pay these tutors for their time because their time is valuable - both to the tutor and the student.
Those who have access to tutoring also tend to live in metropolitan suburbs, and have a geographical advantage over students in rural or regional areas. These students are already disadvantaged by the year 12 system (take 2018’s Language Analysis on hipster cafes for example), and then even more so by the lack of out-of-school academic services on offer.
So instead of starting a generic tutoring company like ever other ambitious school-leaver in Melbourne, I thought I'd try something a little different. Something that could even the playing field for some students, while hopefully helping others excel.
I wanted to create a service that could transcend the barriers of financial background, geographical location, and the quality of school education. I wanted to create something that could be used by anyone, anywhere, anytime.
That’s how KIS Academics (short for Keep it Simple) was born.
We aren’t a B2B school service like Edrolo, which is already a cool resource for students. KIS has the aim of helping those who want to be high achievers, become high achievers. Our courses aren’t limited to teaching content and testing you on it. We prioritise giving each of our students access to:
• High performance habits that we’ve learned through extensive research
• Study methods that students can ACTUALLY implement (not the generic "don't study with your phone" study tips that everyone loves to give out)
• Video resources that can be viewed anytime for learning content or revision
• Teaching techniques that help students understand and excel
• Masterclasses for those over-achievers who want a perfect study score.
• 24/7 Online assistance whenever students have questions to ask
We believe that it is the hard work and generosity of our tutors that makes KIS Academics such an invaluable resource to students. And our students appreciate it. We've slowly grown to around 50 paying students, and we love hearing feedback from them. I make sure to call each student individually to check up on whether they're liking the course, answer any questions they may have about year 12, and ask for recommendations on how we can continually provide even more value across the year. We pack so much material into a cheap weekly subscription of $5.95, almost one-tenth of the price of a $50/hour private tutor. And at the price we charge, these resources could make a huge difference to any student, regardless of who they are, how much their parents earn, or what suburb they live in. Even someone who might already have a private tutor can benefit greatly from what we offer.
Why aren’t our subscriptions just free you may ask? Because for now at least, we don’t want to rely on donations. We truly believe that the value we offer from our courses far surpasses the price point we have in place. Maintaining an extremely high quality of service, keeping our small team of tutors motivated, and constantly churning out new content takes a lot of hard work. Add that to the cost of advertising, web hosting services and all those other small fees that you don’t think about, running KIS can be quite expensive.
So yes, we are a for-profit business, but one with a social responsibility. Hopefully as we grow, that price can eventually decrease even further and we can make these resources accessible to even more students across Victoria, and then maybe one day, Australia.
So, Linkedin connections and friends, if you believe that KIS’ goals are pure and our model strong, I’d love to get some feedback, recommendations or maybe a tiny bit of help from you:
If you know any students, parents, teachers, school staff or principals (especially from rural and regional schools) who might be interested in what I firmly believe are the some of the best VCE resources available, and at a price that anyone, anywhere can afford, I’d love to get in touch with you.
And if you’re on facebook, a like would be greatly appreciated too!