Our work accomplishes two main things: help students achieve their goals on their own terms and make parents' lives less complicated.
The modern academic challenge
Preparing for and succeeding in college, graduate school, and then a professional career require a huge amount of time, ambition, and perseverance.
For students and parents alike, navigating the modern academic landscape can be a bit daunting (and frankly, frustrating). But persistence pays off: the returns from these academic and professional investments are life-changing in a multitude of positive ways.
At Big Future Academics, we've made it our mission to help students unleash their curiosity, discover new things, and unlock their full potential.
Our methods and philosophies help students discover and master the best learning strategies while enjoying the journey, leading to markedly improved results, personal growth, and academic trajectory.
The gist of it
We concentrate our energy on two primary things: student development and results.
Our staff and programs are dedicated to the true essence of learning, so quick tricks and temporary strategies take a back seat to content mastery and proven methods. We are known for our expertise in communicating and demonstrating challenging material to our students.
We've learned over the years
Through years of experience, we've discovered that mutual commitment and continuous communication are also critical to long-term success.
The results generated when both student and educator are intensely dedicated to a plan are far better than when students work on an ad hoc basis - even if each instance is successful in the short-term.
While we certainly love helping students cram for a quiz the evening beforehand, we are much more invested in the student's entire academic life. And that extends well beyond any local class, quiz, or test.
We earn a lot of satisfaction knowing that our work has the potential to positively improve individual lives, while simultaneously strengthening schools and relationships within our local communities and beyond.
A little bragging...
In fact, we've been at this for long enough now that our "first" students are now fully contributing adults in the workforce, with some, we must proudly say, taking on incredibly important and prestigious careers at NASA, Northwestern University, AON, University of Michigan, Patagonia, Pfizer, and yes, even, Big Future Academics.
We want to share this
Through knowledge, commitment, hard work, and an incessant focus on personal relationships, we have helped over 2,100 students reach their academic and professional goals, encouraging each student to pave his or her own unique way to success and personal fulfillment. And we stay in touch! This way, if you need guidance or experience with a given discipline or esoteric project, we will have a connection waiting for you.
It is no secret that many high school courses are becoming just as rigorous (if not more so) as undergraduate college courses. This trend persists up the academic column, meaning undergraduate coursework difficulty is comparable to what it would have characterized graduate coursework not long ago. And, you guessed it, this extends into postgraduate work as well. This progress is beautiful but not without costs, the most expensive of which are time for a balanced approach to professional career fields and time to fully explore one's nascent interests. While we are thrilled (and impressed) to see students rise to meet the demands and challenges that mark a new generation, we are also keenly aware of the shortage of time - and the resulting imbalance - that often seeps into a student’s trajectory over the long run. This is where we come in.
Four primary risks arise as a consequence modern academic pace: a shortage of time to “learn deeply and durably,” a lack of creative and critical thinking, a deficiency in early exploration, and missed opportunities for making cross-disciplinary connections. The BFA team has been intensely committed to acting as both leader and teammate in an effort to support students and institutions alike with a wide range of academic endeavors, from simply excelling on an exam to writing curricula and advising on theses and long-term projects.
The benefit to our students is observed not only via measurable results - grades, test scores, merit scholarships and financial aid, and career paths - but also how they earn these merits and how they approach college, graduate school, and, ultimately, their careers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do we begin?
You're in the right place! Students and parents can get in touch at any time by email, phone, text, or the contact form found on the home page. We are excited to discuss our programs, student goals, long-term plans, courses, exams, papers, pricing, results, or really anything academic.
The first step towards scheduling a session (short term) or setting up an academic plan (longer term) is simply to create a student account, found right here. It's short and simple, and this will allow us to be completely prepared before we get going.
Do students have to work at the center?
Absolutely not! There are plenty of great places to meet and learn. We work incessantly to create flexibility in our schedules because we live in a very busy world. However, our learning center does offer massive advantages: personal, quiet space, state-of-the-art learning platforms and technologies, a huge library, multimedia tools, and a intensely dedicated and highly experienced staff. It is also less expensive to work at our center. We are always happy to meet in your home or local library also if that happens to be a better fit with your schedule.
Are there a minimum number of hours we must schedule?
No minimum here. We love working with any and all learners. Whether that be for the duration of an hour or several years, we are here for you. However, the results we've come to be known for are not necessarily attainable in just a few short hours. An exam like the ACT or SAT - even for a highly gifted student - requires at least 15-20 hours to parse out. True learning and mastery take time. The difference between learning skills and concepts in a masterful and deep-seated way versus learning something in a cursory way is remarkable and lasting. Spending twenty rather than five minutes on a concept up front can save hours upon hours later on in a student's academic career.
What is the cost?
Big Future Academics keeps things simple: High school subject tutoring and ACT and SAT prep cost $70/hr. There are no surcharges for our content, apps, binders, exams, access, or other components that are integrated into a student's program. For on-site tutoring, classroom teaching, lectures, other professional services, or postgraduate level exams, these rates will be higher. Subject tutoring rates also vary, but typically are between $70-$80/hr. Rates for SKYPE Tutoring are also between $70-$80/hr.
What is our track record? Do we guarantee results?
We are very proud of our results indeed. Our work and collaborations have yielded phenomenal outcomes, leading to confident, curious, and knowledgeable students. We owe much of that success to our hardworking students. They earned those results; we just helped. While our track record is very impressive, the nature of our work prevents us from making any guarantees to our clients. Since forming in 2012, BFA has had an average increase for students spending at least 16 hours preparing for the ACT or SAT of 4.2 points and (since 2014) 110 points (respectively). We have helped 61 students break the 30-plus (or 1350 SAT) mark. We are fully confident in saying that when our students are as driven as we are, the goals will be met.
What is meant by exploratory learning?
Exploratory learning is an umbrella term that is best summarized as the process of choosing a particular concept, skill, or challenge and then working to master the idea or skill by exploring multiple resources and discovering how these integrate to form our current understanding and application of the concept at hand. That's a bit of an ambiguous mouthful, but the central premise is this: no idea is an island. Students benefit immensely from taking time to explore and integrate the historical, philosophical, and practical aspects of their working knowledge. Not only does this format of learning help to make a student's grasp more permanent, but it also helps expose other subtleties and nuances in the concepts that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. It also makes learning way more fun and productive!
How does BFA integrate the different components of a student's program?
We spend a lot of time thinking about how to generate long-term results for our students. We don't just want them to have a good grade on a test; we want them to live fulfilling and productive lives. But inevitably, the little engenders the big. That's why we work so closely with our students and families - to ensure that we are keeping the most important achievements, goals, and metrics in focus. To best accomplish this, we focus on four aspects with each student: subject tutoring, exam preparation, exploratory learning, and college and career consulting. We feel at our best when we help students become their best, which usually means long-term planning. But please don't feel obligated! If you just want to learn some calculus, history, or thermodynamics quickly and meaningfully, we can help there too!