Study Edge honored for its impressive growth at Gator100 Awards
Study Edge has helped more than 50,000 students conquer some of UF's most difficult courses. The company will be honored for its impressive growth at today's Gator100 Awards.

Warrington alumnus a quick study in entrepreneurship

Technology has impacted virtually every major industry imaginable.

But, according to Ethan Fieldman, there’s one significant and surprising field that hasn’t felt technology’s full impact: Education.

Fieldman is committed to changing that through Study Edge, the online tutoring service he founded that has helped more than 50,000 University of Florida students. Study Edge will be one of 100 companies honored Friday at the 2nd Annual Gator100 Awards, which recognizes the fastest-growing, Gator-owned or Gator-led businesses in the world.

The concept for Study Edge is quite simple. Fieldman (BSBA ’03) and his staff can conduct only so many in-person tutoring sessions. So, to reach a larger audience, Study Edge films review sessions and concept videos in its classrooms and studios. Students can access these tutoring sessions, as well as short concept videos, anytime by using Study Edge’s Facebook, iPhone/iPad and Android apps.

And for students who prefer in-person tutoring, Study Edge offers weekly group sessions for all 25 courses at its office on University Avenue across the street from UF’s campus.

Although the business has been a successful venture financially, Fieldman said he gets more satisfaction from the impact on students.

“There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing those ‘aha moments,’ and hearing, ‘ohhhhh, I get it.’ The moment a concept ‘clicks’ for a student,” Fieldman said.

The live and online college tutoring is just one facet of Study Edge. Another project is Algebra Nation, an online learning resource designed for Florida middle school and high school students to pass the Algebra 1 End-of-Course exam—which in many high-needs schools has a failure rate of more than 80 percent.

Study Edge, in collaboration with UF’s Lastinger Center for Learning, produces video tutorials and other online learning materials that are delivered to all 67 Florida school districts—at no cost—and impacts over 250,000 students. Fieldman said the statewide pass rate on the Algebra 1 End-of-Course exam has improved by 8%–helping thousands of students graduate from high school—since the program’s launch in 2013.

Study Edge’s sister company, Tutor Matching Service, is described by some as “Uber for tutoring.” Undergraduate and graduate students create online profiles detailing subject strengths and other relevant information, and other high school students (or their parents) can select the appropriate collegiate tutors for their needs. The service is available at more than 100 universities.

Study Edge President Ethan Fieldman at last year's Gator100 Awards.

Study Edge President Ethan Fieldman at last year’s Gator100 Awards.

Fieldman’s affinity for tutoring began during his time at UF. He was studying with classmates for his Managerial Accounting class when students from neighboring tables ventured over to listen to Fieldman’s guidance. That moment inspired Fieldman to hold a tutoring session of his own. He handed out flyers on campus advertising the ‘Review Session’ and requested a $5 optional payment. More than 100 people attended.

He held a second session, increased the price to $10, and just over 300 students attended. A third session, with a $20 fee, drew about 400 students. The seeds of Study Edge were planted, and the company has experienced substantial growth ever since.

“We never really had a six-month period where we were worried about if we could keep the lights on,” Fieldman said. “The money we earned, we invested for future expansion.”

Fieldman said Study Edge’s long-term goals aren’t any different from its short-term goals. The company is dedicated to providing students access to excellent tutors, and fostering a love for education.

“We’re happy doing what we’re doing,” Fieldman said. “We want to continue to get our services out to more students and meet the demand.”