Olin alum’s company offers free classes for K-12 students nationwide

Varsity Tutors, founded by Olin alumnus and CEO Chuck Cohn, launched free online classes Monday for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

“As schools closed this week in response to COVID-19, the speed of change being forced upon the lives of parents has many scrambling just to keep their kids occupied—hopefully with something constructive,” Cohn said in a letter on the company’s site announcing the launch of Virtual School Day.

“We believe parents shouldn’t have to carry this burden alone,” Cohn said.

Cohn, BSBA ’08 and a 2017 Emerging Leader Honoree, started the company on WashU’s campus. It’s now the nation’s leading provider of one-on-one instruction and headquartered in Clayton.

“We decided there was an opportunity to step up in a big way,” Cohn told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Monday.

The platform includes math, reading, writing, literature and science courses for every grade level, expert-guided study hall sessions and age-appropriate enrichment units, such as “the science of pandemics” for middle schoolers, the newspaper reported.

Cohen said Varsity Tutors won’t profit from the free classes, but he thinks the coronavirus crisis will make online learning more mainstream. “People being open to online learning is a good long-term trend, and that’s why we felt obligated to help right now.”

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