Congratulations, you have decided a tutor is in the best interest of your learner, or even yourself! Now what? Well-meaning and knowledgeable friends and parents will refer you to many tutoring options. And you will no doubt find others on your own. But what is the cost of tutoring services going to look like?
The Actual Cost of Tutoring Services
The cost of tutoring services runs the gamut, from paying a high school student $10 and up to hiring a professional, credentialed teacher $25 and up, per hour. Variables such as the length of time needed, urgency to accelerate learning, special needs of the learner, complexity of the subject, and cost of living in your area are among the factors that could affect pricing for any tutor, including academic tutors in your area.
When determining your budget, consider the expectation for the desired outcome. In most cases, a successful grade and a firm grasp of the material in the short term. In the long term, perhaps advancement to a particular program or school. A projected time frame for the tutoring sessions is helpful for both teacher and student. Whether the sessions last a marking period, semester or until a particular goal is met, it helps to have a preliminary focus.
Interview Your Prospective Tutoring Service
Prepare to interview a prospective tutoring service the way that you would appraise anyone providing a service for you. Referrals are always great and should be considered with other factors important in the decision process.
A high school student will earn the amount you decide upon, whereas a tutoring service reserves a portion, or fee, and then pays the tutor. There are certain guarantees you would get with a tutoring service in regards to cancellation, an agreement, a vetting process and structure. It is all in your and your learner’s comfort level, availability, academic needs and budget.
Although one tutor may charge $30 per hour and another $110, I wouldn’t assume that “you get what you pay for” when it comes to tutors. I have found that professionals at all levels tutor for different reasons. One tutor may teach primarily to make a little extra money and love their subject as well as teaching students. Another may be doing it because their call to serve is greater than the need to charge a higher price.
Periodically I review my charges and see that I’m somewhat in the middle of other tutors in my subject area. And my motivation for pay is secondary to my interest in teaching. I wouldn’t worry about someone’s motivation though, just know that excellence and success can come in many different size packages.
Look for Rapport
When choosing a tutor, you may have choices. And it’s important to connect that both you – and your student – have rapport with the tutor. It’s wonderful when that happens right away. However, mutual respect is a given and should be evident from the first contact. Since a tutor already has the passion to go the extra mile and make themselves available for tutoring services, you know the person has a student’s best interests in mind, a reassurance in itself!
Consider Online Tutoring Services
With online tutoring services, it seems that geographically, differences in tutoring costs are less important. You may live in a large city but your tutor could be in a rural area, and charging less than local tutors may charge. Online tutoring can be very successful as students are probably adapting better to a new online, or hybrid environment faster than their teachers are adapting.
Keep Communication Open
In the end, once your decision is made in choosing a tutoring service, keep communication open at all times. When considering the costs, determine together at what intervals you want to discuss expectations and progress, including the preferred method of communication. Recognize that a younger student may not have a 45-minute attention span and allow the tutor to use their expertise in structuring the time frame for optimal learning and, of course, fun!
The most important aspect when you’re considering the cost of tutoring services is the cost of not obtaining tutoring. Intervention early will cost less than trying to rebuild skills and knowledge lost, or having to rebuild a student’s confidence after too many unsuccessful academic experiences. The attention gained by a tutor dedicating time to a learner in a one-on-one or small group environment is priceless when you see a student bloom and grasp the skills that they need to make that success happen.