Shadow education is a term that conveys a separate system of education existing along and parallel to the features of the mainstream education. It involves outside-school supplemental activities aimed at improving the achievement level of the students. Notably, service institutions such as tutorial, review and learning centers have currently turned into a macro phenomenon in both developed and developing countries. This paper purports to present a portrait of the use of the term “shadow education” and its distinction from formal schools based on previous researches. The cultural, social and economic dimensions of school systems were used as discussion points of this anasynthesis paper. The cultural dimension dwelt on the shared orientation of the members of the system as reflected in the forms, aims, curriculum content, mode of teaching, instructional materials and assessment strategies used by both educational typologies. The social dimension had for its foci the providers and clientele and their intention. The financial, human and material aspects of shadow schools expectation define the economic dimension. Implications to the formal school and the society were also pointed out as a result of the proliferation of this service industry and the continued patronage of the student clientele.