What to do:
Do your research
Look for credentials
Schedule a meeting
Play a role
Read the terms
Do your research. For information on tutoring services or commercial learning centers, start your search at bbb.org for a free BBB Business Review that will help you make informed decisions.
Get referrals. Get referrals from your child's teacher; other parents and friends can be a great resource, as well.
Look for credentials. Check the tutor's credentials and make sure they're qualified in the subject area your child needs help with.
Schedule a meeting. Meet with the tutor and discuss measurable, specific goals to be achieved and don't be afraid to hold the tutor and the child accountable if goals aren't met. While a tutoring program can't necessarily guarantee a higher SAT/ACT score, a tutor can help identify problem areas and address any specific subjects where your child needs help.
Play a role. If you use a personal tutor, feel free to sit in now and then and observe how the tutor and your child are working together. Ask the tutor for advice on what you can do as a parent to help your child learn more effectively.
Read the terms. While you might not have to sign a contract, be sure you understand how monthly/weekly payments are to be made and when payments are due. Make sure you understand whether your credit card will be automatically charged each week/month, and what happens if you decide to stop going. Also, be sure to ask and understand what happens if your child is unhappy or you're not seeing the results you expected. Do you receive a refund/credit? Get everything in writing.
Nationally BBB received close to 300 complaints against tutoring services in the last 12 months. Most complaints allege parents were dissatisfied with the services offered and felt their children were no better off than when they started tutoring. Other complaints allege tutor companies continue to bill them for services although they've decided to stop attending the tutoring program.
There are many different types of tutoring services available, depending on your child's needs and capabilities.
A private tutor can offer the most tailored approach for helping your child learn. However, this option is usually the most expensive, costing anywhere from $30 - $70 an hour.
A commercial learning center can provide a customized learning environment for your child and typically costs around $150 per week, paid weekly or monthly.
And for the computer-savvy child that might prefer learning at their own pace, there is the option of online tutoring services. Online tutoring services usually carry a monthly fee of anywhere from $35 to $130. Most online tutors are available
It is also important to note that qualifying families with limited income can receive free tutor sessions as part of the No Child Left Behind Act.