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CAJinBE

Setting tutoring fees

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For those of you who tutor or hire tutors, I have a few questions about prices. I just started tutoring Algebra 1 this year and have one client. We agreed on a rate for me to come to their house once a week for an hour and a half. Both parties feel the rate is fair. I charge enough to cover my prep time and commute time. I also grade weekly tests and keep the student on schedule, provide extra practice as needed. I feel I should answer a reasonable number of questions via Skype and Scribblar although only once has this been necessary. So far so good.

But I think the Scribblar session went really well and would like to add more online sessions as the material gets harder. Should I charge the same rate for an online session as an in-person session? I'm thinking I should charge less since I'm not doing an hour of driving round trip. 

Also do you have different rates for different types of clients? For example, if a family couldn't afford the full service rate, would you offer a lesser package so to speak? Like for instance online homework help without prep, no grading, etc. 

I've been homeschooling now for seven years and also teaching in our co-op, but this is a new thing for me. Thanks for your input.

 

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I don’t have a one price fits all hourly rate. I charge less for the family who has hired me 3x weekly for the past ten years. I charge more to tutor the two teen girls who are quite uncooperative. (One refuses to even bring her book, graded tests, or even a pencil). I charge almost nothing to a mom who is doing the best she can - her son is quite a challenge because it’s not always a math  issue, though it impacts his learning.  (Hey, he’s not sleeping well in the living room with a tv on all night, and he’s being teased at school about stuff and isn’t able to pay attention to the lesson)

Having said that, I would be careful not to hurt yourself by cutting rates for remote tutoring unless you make a rule that it’s only an option along with in person tutoring, not in place of.  (You don’t want clients to use only remote tutoring in order to cut their costs because that means You have to work longer for the same amount of money)

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My kids’ tutors break it down as hourly rate and driving surcharge. So if we go to the library nearby their homes, we pay only the hourly rate. If I need them to come over to my home, I pay the driving surcharge to compensate for gas and commute time. For driving to my home, the tutoring would be two hours instead of one hour per session as we get massive traffic jams here making a short 8 mile commute take 40mins one way at times. 

We didn’t pay for online tutoring as both my kids don’t ask questions during online one to one sessions of online courses. In person is just easier for my kids. 

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I think this has to be worked out with the client individually. Are the Scribblar sessions required by you as part of teaching the students? Are they requested by the family or students for additional help? Or are you looking to add additional clients as online/Scribblar clients only?

If you are looking to add only online clients, I would lower my fees from in-person tutoring. I tutor and we hired a math tutor this year, and I know I personally would not pay the same rate for online tutoring. There are just aspects of in-person tutoring that are far more effective and worth paying the extra price for IMHO. Our in-person math tutor has agreed to answer questions that come up during the week by text and screenshot as part of her monthly fees, which works well for both parties. I don't let my kids abuse the privilege (they only text during certain hours she has agreed to) and she would rather they text and make progress for the following week, than stay stuck and have to back up in material. Our tutor does not grade or prep though, so I feel this arrangement is fair.

Tutoring is expensive when you are fairly compensating the tutor for their time and experience. I would not expect to add online fees with Scribblar unless the family had requested I do so. I know our tutor has been very sensitive about costs and I appreciate it. Tutoring is by FAR the most expensive aspect of education this year. It is completely worth the price for our family, but I definitely couldn't afford to add to those costs with additional online sessions if required by a tutor.

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I charge $40 an hour if I come to you - 5 mile radius of either my home or from my school. 

I charge $30 an hour online or in my home. 

This is for tutoring! If I am teaching the full curriculum I charge $40 for onine as well. I am available to answer questions whenever. If I am teaching the curriculum, I charge for the materials. I also set a twice a week minimum. We often only meet for 40 minutes; I only charge for the time we actually meet. I don't charge for answering a problem here or there in an email or text. 

 

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My oldest has had a tutor for Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Spanish.  The Algebra 1 tutor always came to our house.  I loved that I didn't have to do anything - it was like a magical math fairy showed up to our home and made our house peaceful.  Algebra 2 and Spanish tutors met with DC 1-2 days a week in our home, but no set schedule.  I paid an hourly fee.  One tutor offered to discount if we went with a "pack" of sessions, but I didn't know what our long term needs would be, so we went week to week.  A couple of times DC had an SOS moment and needed the tutor to work through something via FaceTime after trying all of their other tools in their toolbox to figure it out.  I paid the tutor the same hourly rate as if they were in the home - it was for our convenience and they were making themselves available on short notice.  Win win.

I think your situation is unique in that the driving time is significant.  But, you don't know long term if the remote sessions will be as effective as in person and I'm more of a keep it simple person.  I would try to have just one rate - regardless of in person or remote - since the arrangement can fit different needs and at the end of the day, they are paying for your expertise / ability to teach and improve their child's skills.  Plus, maybe the mom spends time tidying up for someone to come over and if you work remote, she's off the hook, lol.  

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It seems like there is a lot of variation. I think for this family it might be best to add a second in-person session a week and keep the online to answering questions as needed. Sitting side-by-side with paper and pencil is more effective. The online whiteboard is actually pretty good though. I spent one and a half hours online with him this week which was the first time he has asked for additional help. I don't require any online sessions. I'm actually enjoying tutoring him quite a bit and I feel a bit like the "magical math fairy" that football mom mentioned.

I'm not looking to add a lot of students right now since I'm still homeschooling, but in the near future I would like to offer my services to more co-op families and maybe kids from the international school. I know money is tight for some of the families though so they probably wouldn't be able to pay the rate I've set. I love teaching at the co-op though and I do that for free even though my dd doesn't attend anymore. 

Thanks for helping me think about this. For the situation right now, based on what posters have said, I think I will keep it simple and suggest a second in-person session weekly. It wouldn't take much more prep, just the driving which I've already factored into the rate. 

 

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Like others said, it depends. My highest rate is at the cheer gym, where parents pay me the same rate they do for private tumbling instruction-$30/half hour. Often, several parents go together and book me for several hours just to supervise and help with homework. My usual rate is closer to half of that, plus any driving expense, and I have been known to reduce even below that, barter or just plain do it for free if a family needs it. 

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