There are lots of options for families and individuals seeking expert help, including online tutoring platforms and brick-and-mortar tutoring centers. The average cost of tutoring ranges from $35/hour to more than $155/hour, depending on where you choose to hire your tutor.
The trick, though, as you’ll read below, is finding accurate and transparent pricing info for each of your tutoring options (and, of course, ultimately deciding on a supplemental learning plan that fits your goals…and budget). We take a closer look at how much tutoring costs at seven popular options, and explain the key differences between them.
Read on to learn more, or use the table below to quickly jump to the info you need to make an informed decision.
- What is tutoring
- The affordability of tutoring
- The effectiveness of tutoring
- Different kinds of tutoring
- What a good tutoring platform should offer
- Comparing average costs of different tutoring platforms
- Comparing the cost of private tutoring with tutoring centers
What is tutoring?
In situations where outcomes matter, tutoring is a solution: a flexible, interpersonal, and affordable way to focus the unique strengths of an individual student to achieve real success.
Essentially, tutoring is personalized teaching.
Rather than presenting material to a group of students all at once, like in a classroom, a tutor works privately with individual students, centering on their unique learning goals and abilities. With tutoring, peer pressure and classroom anxiety are removed from the learning equation, and an element of mutual trust is added, allowing students the mental and emotional space to focus on their individual needs.
Tutoring is the opposite of one-size-fits-all learning.
But that sounds expensive, right? What does tutoring cost? It depends on what kind of tutoring you choose, and from where you choose to get it.
Tutoring is affordable
Budgets matter, and tutoring should never break the bank. No matter where you choose to find a tutor to learn with, you’ll find low-cost options in basic topics. Since you choose the tutor you work with on Wyzant, it means you’ve got the ability to choose one with a rate you like, with no prepayments, subscriptions, or commitments. Ever.
That’s something you won’t find on other tutoring sites.
For the 10 most-popular tutoring subjects (things like algebra, English, writing, Spanish), there are hundreds of experts available for $25/hr or less in every single one. The majority of those tutors have advanced degrees, or are certified teachers, and have years of experience.
Here’s how it works: there are 65,000 tutors in 275 subjects listed on Wyzant, and they are all independent. That means each one sets their own hourly rates and policies based on their experience, education, and many other factors. That means you can negotiate to find a rate that works perfectly for your budget.
Though there are certainly outliers with special skills, experiences, or other attributes that charge more than other tutors, the average price of tutoring services on Wyzant doesn’t fluctuate much.
Tutoring is effective
Since a tutor isn’t addressing a room full of students or teaching according to a curriculum, tutoring is a style of learning that meets a student where they are and provides meaningful help customized to their own knowledge and preferences.
That personalized help is incredibly efficient because it’s focused, and often leads to better outcomes in less time than other methods of supplemental learning…which means money saved for you and your family.
Different kinds of goals call for different kinds of tutoring
There’s no one kind of student. The same goes for tutoring.
People all over the world work alongside tutors every day to accomplish a host of vastly different goals. Because of the flexibility of tutoring, they are able to learn the skills and concepts they need quickly and effectively. That goes for elementary students all the way to retirees. Tutoring works for everybody.
There are two main types of tutoring, and there’s a difference in average price for each across most tutoring platforms. Here are the differences between the two:
In-person and online tutoring
Most kinds of tutoring fall under two basic categories: in person and online.
- In-person tutoring: Prices for in-person tutoring on Wyzant and other sites are, on average, slightly higher than for online lessons. This is due mostly to the no-travel convenience of online tutoring.
In-person tutoring with a tutor is learning that takes place in the real world – the world of coffeeshops and study nooks at libraries and even your own living room – with someone in your community, anywhere and anytime you and your tutor agree upon. Most tutoring centers provide primarily in-person tutoring, as well.
In-person lessons provide an element of socialization that a lot of parents – and their students – value; less distracting, and more similar to classroom learning.
- Online tutoring: Online tutoring takes place over the internet using video and audio conferencing to connect students and tutors in a private space for learning.
The Wyzant Online Learning Tool is a powerful interactive tool that facilitates this sort of tutoring. It features a virtual whiteboard, text, code, and math editing tools, and more useful resources. Students can also opt to save a recording of their lessons to use as study aids after their time with a tutor is complete.
Some tutors and students use Zoom or even schedule FaceTime sessions in order to connect for online tutoring. And many students use a hybrid approach to their lessons, blending in person and online to maximize the efficacy of their tutoring.
Online tutoring isn’t necessarily for every student. If your student is burnt out on virtual learning, or has trouble focusing in a digital space, in-person lessons may be more appropriate to keep them engaged. Also, some parents just prefer the experience of learning in person.
However, online is a convenient choice for many families thanks to its ease of scheduling. Unlike with traditional in-person lessons, there’s no driving to and from lessons (and no extra tank fill ups), no parking woes, or driving in circles waiting for your kid to finish their lessons.
And by utilizing online tutoring lessons, you unlock access to experts from anywhere in the US – not just tutors in your community.
Tutoring isn’t just for reinforcing classroom material or passing tests. Affordable lessons with an expert can help your child develop important study and learning skills, sure, but the guidance of a tutor as a coach or a mentor has proven invaluable to thousands of adult students, too.
- Hobbyists collaborate with fellow makers, musicians, or artists to explore new activities and skills
- College bound seniors polish admissions essays with expert writers
- Travelers practice new languages with fluent speakers so they feel confident stepping into a shop in a new place and saying hello
- Career professionals upskill and prepare for new opportunities with knowledgeable members of their field
There are countless ways to fold tutoring into your life – both in-person and online – to reach any academic, professional, or personal goal, no matter the age.
What an ideal tutoring platform should offer
“Tutoring platforms” refers to sites, apps, and other kinds of online organizations that offer tutoring in some form – like Wyzant, Varsity Tutors, or Tutor.com. And there are a lot of them to choose from, each with their own benefits, drawbacks, and price structure.
Here’s what you should look for in a quality tutoring platform:
- Transparent pricing: Reputable tutoring platforms prioritize providing users with easy-to-find info about cost, pricing, and billing policies.
- Choose your own tutor: You should be able to easily view tutor profiles, rates, reviews and ratings, and have access to important information about any tutor’s past education and experience so you can make the most informed decision possible about who you work with.
- Vetted experts: Some tutoring platforms only require that tutors sign up for or purchase an account in order to list their services; others have stringent processes to make sure every tutor is qualified and experienced. Know the difference before you choose.
- Quality learning tools: True tutoring platforms provide free-to-use educational tools or resources to enhance the tutoring experience and make learning more efficient, like the Wyzant Online Learning Tool. Some sites only list tutors, but are not actually tutoring platforms.
- Secure payments: Make sure that your information and privacy is protected by the tutoring platform or company. You should also always have access to your billing history and the ability to cancel or unsubscribe whenever you want.
- Background checks: Any tutoring platform should give you the ability to easily request a background check via a third party for any tutor, at any time (even if they claim the checks have already been done).
- Customer support: It should be easy and convenient to contact customer support, especially for help with things like navigating the platform, billing problems, or help finding information about a tutor.
What to watch out for on tutoring platforms
Keep a close eye out for things that can significantly affect your experience, both as a consumer as well as a parent or student seeking a tutor.
- Non-transparent pricing: If a site doesn’t clearly display pricing, or you have to jump through (digital) hoops to get concrete information about how much tutoring costs on a given platform, then you can usually expect the platform’s prices to be high (and prepaid).
- Prepayments: Expensive up-front payments or subscriptions – before you or your child has met a tutor or discussed your needs and a plan of action – can stack up quickly.
- Contracts: Prepayments always come attached to a contract, which places you in a position to choose how much tutoring you need long before you have all the information necessary to make an informed decision.
- Inability to choose your tutor: You (or your child) are the most knowledgeable experts on the subject of your own needs, and your agency of choice should be an important factor to consider when choosing a tutoring platform.
- Additional fees: Materials fees, upgrade fees, fees for missed lessons, annual fees, rescheduling fees, even an extra fee for additional subjects…they happen on some tutoring sites, and they’re all worthy of scrutiny when choosing a platform. Much like not clearly displaying price info for tutoring, this is a tactic designed to get you to spend more money.
Comparing average costs of different tutoring platforms
1. Wyzant – $35-$65/hour, pay-as-you-go
Tutors on Wyzant can price their services as low as $10/hour. Here’s the average cost of one hour of tutoring on Wyzant:
Test Prep: $35-65 (the test itself has a lot to do with lesson cost!)
High School: $55
Of course, some specialized skills might come at higher price points from certain tutors, because remember: tutors set their rates based on their own expertise and experience. High value expertise is available, to be sure, and you can always choose to pay a little more to get help from the best of the best, if that’s what you need.
Wyzant is the nation’s biggest tutoring marketplace (which is a business-y word that describes what we do: connect people who need to learn with the experts who can teach them). We believe that personalized, 1-on-1 lessons are the best, most efficient way to reach your goals – whatever they may be.
The biggest difference between Wyzant and other tutoring sites is choice.
On Wyzant, you choose the tutor(s) you or your child work with
Our network spans the nation with 65,000 tutors in 275 subjects and more than 12,000 topics, so it’s easy to find your perfect fit no matter the goal or age. Message tutors anytime to ask more about their experience or explain your needs, no payment required.
Most other tutoring sites work more or less similarly to tutoring centers, assigning tutors to students instead of helping a student make an informed decision about who best to work with. On Wyzant, who you work with is completely up to you.
On Wyzant, you choose the hourly rate you want to pay
Sort tutors by rate to find budget-friendly options. And even better, there’s no paying in advance. Lessons on Wyzant are pay-as-you-go. There are never expensive contracts or prepayments that just get in the way of efficient learning.
The only sessions you’ll pay for are the ones you or your child have completed, and our secure system takes care of it automatically. Sessions on Wyzant can be as short as 5 minutes, or as long as you and your tutor agree.
And because finding your perfect fit shouldn’t be a hassle, our Good Fit Guarantee goes a step further: love your first hour with a new tutor, or we’ll cover the cost.
2. Varsity Tutors – $73-$95/hour, prepaid
It’s difficult to find information online about Varsity Tutors prices. They’re available once you surrender your email address, though, and a closer look shows that plans are offered in groups of hours:
- 12 hours: $95/hour ($1,140)
- 24 hours: $80/hour ($1,920
- 36 hours: $75/hour ($2,700)
- 48 hours: $73/hour ($3,504)
Payment is required up-front. It should be noted that tutors on this platform are assigned by Varsity Tutors; there is no option to choose who you or your child works with.
3. Tutor.com – $349.99-$1449.99/month, prepaid
Tutor.com is owned by The Princeton Review. Like Wyzant, they’re transparent with pricing. Unlike many tutoring sites, though, their services are only available for students in the US and Canada, and rates are on the high side.
Like Varsity Tutors, you’ll have to pay before you can take tutoring sessions on Tutor.com. Their services are available as both monthly subscriptions and one-time up-front payments. Monthly subscriptions on Tutor.com range from $39.99/month (1 hour) to $114.99 (3 hours). One Time payments for tutoring by month (below) are more expensive: $349.99-$1449.99
4. Care.com – $17-$155/hour, prepaid
Care.com is not a tutoring platform. The site caters mainly to parents seeking caregivers or nannies and does not specialize in learning or education.
However, tutors do list their services there, but are required to purchase a monthly membership in order to do so.
Pricing information for Care.com is difficult to find outside the average claimed on their website. Rates for tutoring on a Care.com search range from $17-$155/hour. To view suggested tutors or message them, users must also sign up for an account.
Comparing the cost of private tutoring with tutoring centers
Tutoring (or learning) centers are places like Mathnasium, Kumon, and Sylvan Learning Center. They’re franchised for-profit companies that offer after-school hours for supplementary learning in the stuff students are learning at school. At a tutoring center, there’s normally one instructor for every 2-3 students, so it’s less of a personalized one-on-one experience than working with a private tutor.
The cost of learning can run high at many tutoring centers. In general, they cost more on average per-month than hiring a private tutor, assess various fees and charges in addition to instruction cost, and expect commitments or prepayment.
Often, you’ll pay extra for each subject your child needs help in. But for some, the extra cost can result in wonderful outcomes and provide much-needed structure for students.
PROS of tutoring centers
Here’s some food for thought on what makes tutoring centers a good option for general learning outside the classroom.
- Lots of resources: Tutoring centers charge more money so they can invest in access to textbooks, software, and other tools that students enjoy.
- Socialization: Tutoring centers can provide socialization for young learners, because in many cases tutoring happens in small groups.
- Centralized place for learning: Tutoring centers, of course, are popular because they specialize in academic help for classroom subjects! This can be especially helpful if, for instance, your child first needs help in math tutoring, but later in the semester could use help with English. The staff at tutoring centers can transition the type of help a student is receiving, which can help save you and your student valuable time. With some centers, additional subjects means additional charges.
- In-person learning: With the rise of remote learning, many students report they actually learn better when instruction is in person. The vast majority of tutoring centers offer primarily in-person help at physical locations.
CONS of tutoring centers
Not all tutoring centers are the same, but there are common concerns from parents who have used them that you should be aware of when deciding how to help your student.
- Expensive commitments: Tutoring centers often require hefty upfront payments and expect a contract. That means even if your child is not benefiting from their lessons, you may be unable to cancel them or get your money back. Most centers charge registration and materials fees, as well as other hidden or “one-time” charges.
- Less flexibility, more commuting: All tutoring centers are brick-and-mortar places that have business hours, so if your child needs help, they can only get it at certain times at a certain place. Some centers offer limited online remote learning, but scheduling is still mostly up to the center and not your family.
- One size fits all approach: In the case of Kumon, students only advance to the next level of their learning when they have “mastered” the work. Kumon defines mastery as speed and accuracy, but students have been known to get stuck at stages in the program due to the enforcement of those rules. And, just like tutoring centers are not all alike, not every student learns in the same way either.
- No choice of instructor: At tutoring centers, students are assigned to an instructor, and parents have little choice in the matter. Unlike with private tutoring, it’s normally not possible to locate information, like a profile or bio, that tells you who is teaching your child at the center, and why they’re qualified. Ditto on forming your own relationship with them to help you understand your child’s progress.
- Varying results: Since most tutoring centers are franchises, the results can vary greatly from location to location, and the emphasis will likely be on staying profitable instead of the success of every individual student.
Despite their drawbacks, a great number of students have found success at tutoring centers, so they’re undoubtedly a smart option to explore if you can afford one and there are some in your community who offer programs that fit your family’s needs.
Sylvan Learning Center – $45+/hour, prepaid
Though you won’t actually find any prices on their Pricing info page, rates for instruction hover around $45 and higher per hour.
Pricing plans at a Jackson, Michigan, location are calculated by month (above), with contracts for 6 to 60 months available for between $62-967/month. Sylvan also assesses materials fees and other charges, but offers a discount for prepayment.
Kumon – $80-180/month per subject, prepaid
Most Kumon centers strongly prefer to give a quote in person rather than online. Prices vary at each franchise location. Kumon charges registration and material fees, and costs for services are paid monthly, ranging from $80-180/month per subject.
Mathnasium – $200-300/month, prepaid
Learning at a Mathnasium costs between $200-300/month, paid before lessons take place. Prices vary between franchise locations. Qualified math tutors at one physical location in Cedar Rapids, IA charge $45-$75/hour in addition to the monthly fee for enrolling at the center.
Choosing the right tutoring
With tutoring, anyone can stop struggling in class, improve their grades, and even get ahead in class or a new hobby. However, with pricing for different tutoring options being so varied, it’s understandably hard to figure out what tutoring program is best for your family.
Time spent with an expert practicing in a structured way is a tried-and-true method of improving skills for students of any age. And there are numerous ways to find the help that’s best for your or your student. Programs at physical tutoring centers cost more, while most tutoring platforms require big upfront investments of money and trust without much transparency about how much it will actually cost you. And if you want to choose your own tutor, well, your options are very limited.
Join the millions of people who have found their perfect fit without all the hassle at Wyzant, and experience the benefits of private, affordable tutoring for yourself.