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?