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New app has a Knack for tutoring

Knack cups.JPG
Photo courtesy of Knack Tutoring

With midterms just around the corner, UNC and N.C. State students have a new, Uber-style option for tutoring help. 

Knack, an app that facilitates peer-to-peer tutoring, was launched in January of 2016 — and in the last semester, has spread beyond the University of Florida to the Triangle area. The app, started by Samyr Qureshi and his collaborators, allows students to find peers who have taken and done well in particular courses. 

Will Kelly, a student at N.C. State University and Director of Campus Operations for Knack Technologies, Inc., was one of the first to hear about the program at his school. He praised Knack’s convenience and accessibility for college students.

“It bridges the gap between traditional tutoring and what college students actually need and what actually works with their schedule,” Kelly said. 

To find a tutor, a Knack user can browse through a list of individuals specializing in varying courses. Once they've chosen a tutor, users can chat and schedule a time and place to meet. 

Kelly said the course specificity of the app is a notable feature. 

“A professional tutoring company is not going to have that sort of specificity,” he said. “They’re not going to know exactly your class: What that professor likes to teach, how the tests are structured – it’s sort of general help.”

In the search for new active universities, Qureshi said the level of academic rigor and the size of the institution were particularly important. He said the population of students who need the help might be more significant at larger schools. 

While Knack is now operating at UNC and N.C. State, it has not expanded to Duke University. However, Qureshi noted the company is expanding quickly. 

Ryan Farrell, a UNC senior and one of Knack’s most highly-regarded tutors, stressed the convenience of the app as being one of its greatest strengths. 

He said it’s been useful that he’s been able to tutor with some of his own published study materials, as well. 

“The people at Knack and I have discussed being able to make a platform on which students can get access to resources,” Farrell said. 

Unlike some traditional tutoring set-ups, Knack won’t break the bank. 

“The average tutor on our platform is charging under $25 an hour – I mean, I used a tutor in high school and I remember my mom paying over $45, $50 an hour,” Qureshi said. 


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