We teach. We respect and complement the curricula and high standards of teaching at schools and colleges. We have dedicated our careers to helping students develop their math, critical reading, logical reasoning, and writing skills, along with a host of other abilities important for tests and academic subjects. As Tony Schwartz writes in his New York Times Magazine article: "[Advantage Testing founder Arun] Alagappan isn't so much teaching the test as simply teaching-in this case, intensive tutorials in math or reading."
Furthermore, the SAT program often inspires students to work harder at school. In his article, Mr. Schwartz describes "sending [his] own teenager to work with [Advantage Testing] several years ago, paying the full fee for doing so and observing not just a significant increase in SAT scores but also major improvement in schoolwork and a burgeoning intellectual self-confidence..." It is our goal to enrich our students' intellectual growth both within and beyond the scope of standardized tests.
Yes. We recognize the costs, we realize that they are daunting for many, and we work to provide realistic options through our active Financial Aid and Public Service Initiatives programs. Our nation offers a range of excellent public and independent options for education. If families can and choose to pursue private education, to say that the overall expenses are high is an understatement. The cost of an independent high school and college education can amount to more than $300,000. Add to this amount the cost of a private grade school, and the total can exceed $500,000. The amount families spend on Advantage Testing's services represents a small percentage of that total, while many if not most of our students regard their one-on-one work with our private tutors to be among the most important educational experiences of their lives.
We should also note that teacher compensation in the United States is lower, as a fraction of our GNP, than it is in virtually every other major industrialized country in the world. The number one expense at Advantage Testing is teacher salaries. As the New York Times Magazine states, "In the end, [Advantage Testing] is simply bringing to the SAT's the same qualities we most value in any teacher-passion, patience, clarity, inspiration. In turn, [Alagappan] has sought to attract people like himself to tutoring by offering them rates comparable to those earned by top professionals in other fields." The fees we charge are comparable to, not higher than, those of leading professionals in other fields. The rationale? Private tutoring by exceptional teachers can have a profound effect on a student's confidence, ability, and attitude.
Yes. Since its inception, Advantage Testing has worked hard to make its educational and counseling services accessible to students of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. To that end, the group has provided pro bono instructional help and financial support to a variety of individuals and public service organizations, offered generous financial aid packages to students with demonstrable need, and donated tutoring services to charity benefits and school scholarship funds. We also hold small group lessons for which we offer significant financial aid to families that qualify. It is our explicit goal to enroll motivated students in our programs regardless of their ability to pay.
We are continually developing new programs to improve access to our services. We welcome any ideas from within and beyond our group that will help make Advantage Testing accessible to families of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.
Please visit our AT Foundation page for more information about our public service programs.