Brainfuse offers a suite of tools for schools, colleges and libraries that helps enhance learning for their students and visitors. The company has been around for more than 15 years and earned a Platinum Award from the Modern Library Awards in 2015 for their HelpNow service. While their service appears to be robust and helpful, it is available primarily through a school or library and is not available for direct purchase by consumers.

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The Good

  • Extensive reach and experience
  • Versatile service
  • Highly qualified tutors

Extensive Reach and Experience

Brainfuse has conducted millions of tutoring sessions since its founding in 1999. The company has built a suite of online services that can help students at any stage of learning, from kindergarten to college and beyond. Their online technology suite runs on any computer with Internet access. According to their website, Brainfuse has been implemented in hundreds of libraries in the U.S. and has been selected by 30 state departments as an approved tutoring resource. Brainfuse customizes its services based on the needs of the client. Clients include schools, colleges, workforce services, and libraries among others.

Versatile Service

The suite of services offered by Brainfuse span a variety of learning needs. Elementary, high school and college students can get one-on-one, real-time tutoring help online for multiple common subjects. Students can also send questions to receive asynchronous, detailed help from tutors who generally respond within two business days. Adults can also benefit through the HelpNow system provided through library subscriptions, including foundational skills courses and help for job seekers.

Highly Qualified Tutors

Brainfuse requires tutors to pass through a rigorous review process. Applicants must have a four-year degree and are also interviewed for their ability to tutor in an online format. They must demonstrate adequate qualifications through skills assessments for the subjects they will tutor. Tutoring experience is a requirement. All applicants undergo a background check conducted by a third-party agency.

The Bad

  • Subscription managed by institutional client
  • Not available in-person
  • No Published Price

Subscription Managed by Institutional Client

People who want to use Brainfuse will need to be a student or constituent at a participating institution. Individuals cannot subscribe to the service independent of a subscribing organization. While this service is available at many institutions nationwide, many people will simply not have access or be able to gain access.

Not Available In-Person

Although real-time tutoring is available online, Brainfuse does not offer in-person tutoring. Students and tutors can share documents and ask questions through the software interface, but there is no ability to connect in person for more direct interaction.

No Published Price

With no price published, it is hard to determine how cost effective this service is. However, the cost to the end user is usually covered by the subscription fees paid by the purchasing organization. Elementary and high school students of participating schools will usually get access for free. College students also generally have free access to the service as part of their tuition. Public libraries generally pay for the service through their budget or from grant funding so they can offer it to visitors for free as well.

The Bottom Line

For those who have access to the service, Brainfuse offers a useful set of features that can help learners at various stages of life. However, with access only available through an institutional subscription, most people will not have the ability to use the service. With no published price, we cannot make any judgment call regarding the value of the service compared to its cost.

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