AskRose to Expand Homework Help Services with $1.46M Lilly Endowment Grant

Saturday, January 02, 2021
Image shows student employee of AskRose talking on the phone while consulting a textbook to help a student caller.

Lilly Endowment Inc.’s support will allow AskRose Homework Help to increase the use of technology to aid middle school and high school students in understanding their math and science homework.

Rose-Hulman’s free AskRose Homework Help service has received a $1.46 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to use expanding online technology to help middle school and high school students understand their math and science homework problems.

Early in 2021, AskRose will implement video tutoring into its traditional phone, chat and email services. Video tutoring will make it easier for students and tutors – students at Rose-Hulman, the top-rated undergraduate STEM college – to discuss problems involving symbols, equations, diagrams, and graphs. Meanwhile, students are becoming more familiar with online educational technology, especially during the current coronavirus pandemic.

“Many students already use video to talk with teachers or study with peers, so we believe students will be able to easily adapt to this technology,” said AskRose Director Susan Smith Roads. “Remote learning, social distancing and stay-at-home aspects of our lives during the COVID-19 pandemic have made our AskRose Homework Help services more necessary than ever. This new reality requires that we face these challenges with renewed energy, new ideas and improved systems that will lead and sustain us into the future.”

Smith Roads emphasized that two key priorities of the new video person-to-person tutoring services will be student privacy and data protection. Also, AskRose will continue to collaborate with educators and parents to provide the optimal resources and tutoring hours to support student learning.

All of AskRose’s tutoring services will continue to be free through 2022, thanks to the Lilly Endowment grant.

Since its inception in 1991, AskRose has continually provided math and science homework help for students in grades 6-12, with Rose-Hulman students available Sunday through Thursday from 7-10 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) during the school year. Tutors have conducted more than 725,000 tutoring sessions with the goal of helping bring academic achievement and personal success to each student.

Connections can be made at 877-ASK-ROSE (877-275-7673) or the AskRose website,, which also will be updated through funds provided in the Lilly Endowment grant. The improved website will provide more online educational tools, background information about math and science careers, and profile successful Rose-Hulman alumni in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The website already offers more than 500 resources available through videos and downloadable reference materials.

“Thanks to Lilly Endowment Inc.’s continued support for AskRose and Rose-Hulman, we hold a valued and important role in helping Indiana’s secondary education system inspire future generations of STEM leaders,” said Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons. “We are genuinely encouraged with the many stories from students, parents and educators about how Rose-Hulman is making a difference in the lives of others.”

AskRose Basics:

- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology offers free math and science tutoring for students in grades 6-12. Students may call 877-ASK-ROSE (877-275-7673) to speak with a Rose-Hulman student-tutor, or go to the AskRose website,, to interact with a tutor online or through email. Questions filed by email and other means are answered during AskRose’s hours of operation.
- Hours of operation: 7-10 p.m. (EDT), Sunday through Thursday, throughout each school year. Additional afternoon hours are available, depending on tutor availability. (The service is closed during Rose-Hulman’s holiday breaks.)
- Online resources: Students and educators may access resources and educational materials at
- Sponsors: The service is supported by Lilly Endowment Inc. and Rose-Hulman.