Do Kids Who Can Afford Tutors and Support Have an Unfair Advantage?

Do tutors provide an unfair advantage for students? Where can parents find support for struggling students at school?   We discuss the impacts of using academic support services such as tutors or SAT prep services and how to help your teen succeed at school.   Marni Pasch -Academic Coach Team- Pasch Academic Coach  Podcast School Counselor Gone Rogue

Listen to this week’s episode by clicking the play button below!


The Disadvantages of Academic Advantages : A look at Tutors and Academic Support - Episode 033

Is technology stunting students ability to learn or a modern answer to “Use a dictionary?”

Recently, an article by the Chicago Tribune entitled “Tutors, private test prep coaches, homework therapists. Rich kids have all the academic advantages money can buy. But at what cost?” crossed my path, and being an academic coach, I had to stop and read it.

I was intrigued to see how the author would articulate that tutoring services harm the child.

Because, let’s face it, my mission has always been to help students who don’t fit into the academic setting find their own place- harming them is the furthest thing on my mind. The article did bring up good points including whether academic services allow the child to practice self-advocacy or feel accomplished.

However, I would argue that a tutor is not trained to help a child in those areas. A tutor is hired to help a student understand concepts that were not properly understood the first time in a private or small group setting. How can parents determine the services their child needs, and more importantly - where can parents go to find support if they are unable to hire outside resources?

Listen to the episode to explore these questions:

  • Is tutoring shielding students from learning important life lessons?

  • Is it right to assume that all children who are provided academic support will automatically thrive in school?

  • The Chicago Tribune article unfairly asserts that children who take extra learning opportunities won’t have healthy coping skills. Are unhealthy coping skills the result of academic services or a sign that a child is in need of more services than tutoring can provide?

  • Do parents send mixed signals to their children about academic success?

  • An effective school counseling program in the school could mitigate a lot of student issues that otherwise go unaddressed. Is your child’s school using school counselor’s to their advantage? How can parents advocate for school counselors?

Key points

  1. Just because you work with a coach doesn’t mean your child won’t have the skill of self-advocacy.

  2. You can give a kid all the advantages in the world and unless your kid’s engaged in the process- it won’t matter.

  3. Before a parent hires a tutor, academic coach or SAT prep service - they must decide their purpose. What do you hope your child gains from this outside support?

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    A recent article I read, suggested that students who take advantage of additional academic support might face low self-esteem and not practice self-advocacy.  That is not the fault of the student. Parents need to know that support is in place to help a child strengthen their skills- there is no protection against failure in life.  Check out School Counselor Gone Rogue on Itunes,Stitcher or Google Play or check out the website and show notes!

    Tweet this:

    Tweetable Quotes:

    • “If a kiddo is actually willing to reach out for extra help, that’s exactly what we want them to do.” -Marni

    • “Just because a child takes advantage of extra learning activities doesn’t mean they won’t face failure.” -Marni

    • “Parents, you need to consider why it is you’re hiring someone to help your child.” -Marni

    • “You don’t have to go to a fancy tutoring center to get time management, and emotional support.” -Marni

    In Closing

    As a trained school counselor, I have seen many school counselors fight to implement programs in their schools to help ALL students develop the study skills and college readiness. Parents can advocate for quality school counseling programs by reaching out to their counselors, school board and administrators to ask if these resources are being appropriately allocated. As an academic coach, yes - my services are an additional fee for families, and not the right fit for every family. However, I encourage all families to look at the resources within their school as the first step in looking for additional help for their child. From there you need to explore what will give your child the best support and help for the struggle they are facing.

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    • Does tutoring and SAT Prep give students an unfair advantage?

    • Parent’s motivation for tutoring services might halt their child’s school success

    • Would the proper use of school counselors be a start to reducing the need for outside resources?



    Marni Pasch| Host of School Counselor Gone Rogue| Academic Coach | Team Pasch Academic Coaching

    I work with students in grades 6th and higher, who struggle with academic confidence and motivation. I help them survive school with less stress by helping them create concrete goals, tackle procrastination and learn creative study techniques. I empower students to take charge of their education and reach their goals. I do this through individual or group coaching so students achieve success in life, school, career readiness and their social endeavors.

    Academic Coaching available in Orlando, FL and Virtually across the United States