"I need a tutor, but I can't afford one!"

The cost of a private tutor is perhaps the most prohibitive factor in the decision about hiring a tutor. As a tutor, I want to be able to help students who need my help. But I also like doing things like buying groceries and paying rent, so it is essential that I receive compensation for my time. As a PhD and lifelong student, I like to think that I offer my students a lot of value for their money, but I do realize that $40/hour (my current rate) is expensive. (From what I’ve seen, my rate is pretty average for tutors on WyzAnt, which is to say we’re ALL expensive!)

Here are a few tips for how to get the most bang for your tutoring buck.

* WyzAnt offers discounts if you buy several lessons at one time. For example, you can pay $190 for $200 worth of lessons—a 5% discount. Spend $360 and you can get a 10% discount. If you anticipate needing a tutor for a semester’s worth of lessons, buying lesson time in bulk is the way to go.

* Contact your prospective tutor to see if they can offer you a discounted rate. This approach takes some courage, so it’s not for the meek. But you might be surprised at the response if you ask. A tutor friend of mine, for example, offers a free session if students purchase four lessons up front—buy four, get one free. If a student approached me for tutoring help in a subject that I don’t get to tutor very often, I would be more open to offering a discounted rate. Or if it’s a subject in which I want to gain more tutoring experience, I’m willing to offer a discount in exchange for a student taking a chance on me as a tutor.

One caveat to this suggestion: don’t insult your tutor by bidding too low. I probably wouldn’t ask for more than 5-10% off their normal rate. Many of us have spent a long time studying our craft. We are professionals, and our rates reflect the investment that we’ve made in our subject areas.

* If and when you do meet with a tutor, get yourself organized beforehand. If your tutor asks for some information about what you’re studying, provide that information ahead of time. Tutors are not clairvoyant; we need you to help us get ready for our sessions with you. Speaking for myself here, I am happy to do some prep work ahead of time so that I am organized and confident when I walk into a tutoring session. I like feeling ready to help my students.

* Know that WyzAnt has a money-back guarantee. If you aren’t happy with your tutoring session, you don’t pay for it. I take this very seriously. If a tutoring session doesn’t go well, I don’t want my student to pay for it. If I liked working with the student but feel I underperformed as a tutor, I will offer that student a free session with me. To me, it’s all part of making my students happy.

Are there any tips you’d add to this list?


Good advice!! Nice to see you on here. Small world!


Rose-Anne M.

Creative and Resourceful Chemistry and Biology Tutor

1250+ hours
if (isMyPost) { }