The University of Calgary’s free tutoring club Easy Ace gave its first $550 scholarships to two hard-working tutors.
Easy Ace began in the 2011 winter semester with the goal of helping fellow students.
Third-year biological sciences student Andrew Lim and engineering graduate student Hichem Aichour were the recipients of the scholarships.
According to Easy Ace vice-president finance Sorabh Dutta, who co-founded the club with third-year mechanical engineering student Parsa Samavati, the club began with colleagues who wanted to help other students.
“We started off as a group of friends who wanted to provide free tutoring to students all across the U of C — not particularly in one club or one subject area, but across all faculties,” said Dutta.
Currently, the club has expanded to have over 140 tutors.
“We started off with nine executives. Our first term, we had about nine tutors. We tutored for 83 hours our first term. We got the special mention award from the Students’ Union and, since then, we’ve [constantly] grown,” he said.
The SU also provides tutoring services through the Tutor Registry Program. Dutta said Easy Ace is another simple way to get help for classes.
“It’s all about improving student life. When we started off, there was no such thing as personalized, free, one-on-one tutoring,” he said.
The services offered by Easy Ace look at helping students in almost every faculty, according to Dutta.
“Business, engineering and science are basically the main focus, but we tutor in over 153 courses,” said Dutta. “Our main focus of operations is the one-on-one tutoring that is absolutely free.”
Easy Ace generates revenue through review sessions taught by university professors.
“Our revenue model consists of review sessions that are hosted by actual professors, and we only charge five dollars for it, whereas the competitors would probably charge between $100–150,” said Dutta.
The members of Easy Ace decided to give the extra revenue gained from these review sessions as a scholarship for dedicated tutors.
“The scholarships came as an idea. We were like, ‘What are we going to do with this revenue?’ ” said Dutta. “Why not just reinvest it in our tutors? All the revenue we generate, minus the operation cost, we give it out to our tutors.”
Lim tutored over 15 hours with Easy Ace. He has mainly helped students with first-year required math courses.
“I was quite surprised to receive the award, but I’m really thankful,” said Lim. “Overall, the experience has been great. I have been able to help people and I have learned myself.”
Aichour had tutored just over 35 hours in mainly math and engineering. He was unavailable to comment.
If students are struggling, Dutta said Easy Ace is an easily accessible resource to ask for help.
“We’re all in this together. We’re spending a fuck-load on tuition. If you can help students in a subject, I’m pretty sure they’ll help you too,” he said.
Easy Ace is planning to expand to other campuses like Mount Royal University.