Hiring a private tutor has always been a great way to help enhance your child’s overall educational experience. Especially now, in the wake of a new era of virtual learning brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing extra help into the home has become even more critical.
Like most educational costs, hiring a qualified personal tutor has increased in price over the years, especially when paired with additional costs like private school education. Also, while there are more resources at a parent’s disposal than ever before, factors like location, your child’s age and learning style, type of tutoring (private vs. group, online vs. in person, for example) all enter into the search for — and eventual cost of — the perfect tutor.
No parent wants to put a price tag on their child’s education, but it’s important to be aware of how things can add up quickly. If you’re looking for a flexible way to cover the costs of your child’s schooling — including hiring a tutor — First Republic offers affordable financing options for K-12 education-related expenses. If you’re in the market for a tutor for your child — or are interested in learning more about the different options available to cover the growing cost of K-12 education — here’s what you need to know.
1. Take your child’s learning style into account
Before you begin your search for a tutor, it’s important to consider your child’s individual learning style. Each child absorbs information differently, and finding a tutor who will be sympathetic to your child’s own pace and learning technique is essential for success. Generally speaking, most educators categorize students into one of four types of learning styles, referred to as VARK. These include:
- Reading/Writing Preference
Finding a tutor that will align their teaching methods with the way that your child best learns will help foster your child’s self-esteem and facilitate a triumphant tutoring experience for everyone involved.
2. Weigh the benefits of private tutors vs. group tutors
Part of considering your child’s overall learning style includes evaluating whether or not your child learns best in a group or private setting. If your child is in grade school or high school, this is something parents can discuss with past teachers to help determine. Whether or not you are looking for a private or group tutoring session may also be dependent on a few additional factors, such as:
- Is your child really struggling in one particular subject — say math or reading — and might benefit from one-on-one interaction with a qualified tutor in that particular area? Or are you hoping simply to have a tutor help provide supplemental information — like general homework help — to your child's overall curriculum?
- In the wake of COVID-19 and a school year that has become virtual for many kids, are you also hoping that a tutor might be able to provide an opportunity for more social interaction for your child, something they may be missing by attending school online rather than in-person?
As a parent, you know your child best, and with a little help from past or present teachers, you’ll likely be able to easily determine which tutoring setting would most benefit your kid. One additional option to keep in mind — especially for parents trying to work full-time while their kids attend school virtually from home — is hiring a private teacher or educator to either homeschool your children or to help assist them with their online curriculum through their regular school. This option can usually be done either individually or in groups. Since it can be pricey, financing options should be considered as early as possible if you’d like to go this route.
3. Keep the curriculum for your child’s grade in mind
Your child's current grade is especially important if you’re considering hiring a private teacher or educator to assist with their full-time learning. Still, even if you are in the market for a tutor, keeping your kid’s grade and curriculum in mind can help you narrow down your options. A few things to remember when it comes to the curriculum:
- If your child is enrolled in a public school and you’re hoping to hire a private teacher to help guide them through the year, you’ll want to make sure that the teacher is well-versed in the Common Core method of teaching.
- If you’re looking for a tutor to supply additional assistance, it will also help if the tutor is up-to-date with Common Core standards, but you can also try searching for tutors who are specifically trained in the subject where your child could use the most aid (i.e., a former math teacher for your child who hates algebra).
4. Hire a tutor online
Finding the right tutor might seem like a daunting process, but with today’s resources, it doesn’t have to be. Many online tutoring services offer easy and convenient ways to find qualified tutoring help for your child, even potentially on an as-needed basis throughout the year. Online, ad-hoc tutors tend to be a less expensive option than a single, dedicated private tutor. Although First Republic Bank doesn't endorse any specific online tutoring services, some of the more popular options available for parents to consider include:
- Chegg Tutors: These online tutors are available in a number of subjects, and they’re a great option when flexibility is key, since tutors are available 24/7.
- Varsity Tutors: With a variety of options to pick from — including free large group classes, 1-on-1- private tutoring and small group classes — Varsity Tutors allows parents to test out different potential options for their kid to see which works best.
- Tutor.com: This online, one-on-one homework help, test prep, professional development and tutoring option offers 24/7 availability for students of any age in more than 40 subjects.
5. Learn how to negotiate a tutoring price
Not all tutors are created equal, and it’s worthwhile to understand all the factors that may determine pricing, so you can negotiate an appropriate rate for the level of service that you need. . Service factors include how frequently your child will have access to help and how experienced your tutor is, among other things. When determining how much you’re willing to pay for a tutor, it will be important to factor in your child’s individual needs, as well as assess how much time you think might be necessary to help their tutoring sessions be as successful as possible.
When starting the search for a tutor or private teacher, consider asking friends and family or your child’s former teachers for suggestions, and be sure to read up on average rates for your area, your child's needs and other factors.
Although it might be harder to haggle with online tutoring options, there may be a little more leeway when it comes to negotiating with in-person tutors. When you do eventually get down to the interviewing and negotiating phase of finding a tutor, be sure to factor in things like:
- Previous teaching experience
- Affiliation with any professional organizations, like The National Tutoring Association
6. Consider financing a tutor with a Personal Line of Credit
Depending on your child’s overall needs — and taking into consideration any additional education expenses that might be on the horizon, like private schooling and costs of materials such as laptops,— it’s easy to see how expenses for your kid’s education can really add up.
One avenue of financing for such needs — a personal line of credit — offers a flexible way for parents to cover not only their child’s educational needs over one to two years, but also any additional financial needs that might crop up in that time period, as well. A personal line of credit is flexible in a number of ways, including:
- It allows the borrower to draw money as needed, up to the loan limit, throughout the draw period, which is usually a number of years (First Republic’s Personal Line of Credit has a two-year draw period). The borrower only pays interest on the amount they’ve actually drawn, as opposed to the full loan limit.
- Borrowers can use the money for a broad range of personal and household needs. So if educational expenses turn out to be less than expected over the course of the loan, the extra money can be used for other financial goals — like funding minor home improvement projects or financing an auto purchase — as well.
- If the amount borrowed is paid back within the draw period, that amount is available for the borrower to draw again — without the requirement to reapply for another loan.
Although the specifics of a personal line of credit will differ depending on the lender, at First Republic Bank, borrowers have access to a fixed-rate personal line of credit with low Annual Percentage Rates (APR) between 2.25% to 3.50% with discounts.1 There are also no loan origination, maintenance or prepayment fees, and a dedicated personal banker will offer tailored services throughout the entire life of the loan and beyond.
Besides asking for personal recommendations from friends, family and educators you know, there are some additional resources that might prove useful in the tutor search, as well. Although First Republic does not officially endorse any specific tutoring resource, these include:
- The National Tutoring Association
- Sylvan Learning Centers
- Local schools and universities
- Job boards and neighborhood Facebook groups
Frequently Asked Questions When Hiring a Tutor
What is the best online tutoring website?
While the best online tutoring website will depend on your child’s specific needs, there are a few that are known for offering tailored help. Although First Republic Bank doesn't necessarily endorse any specific online tutoring websites, Thinkster Learning may be a good fit for kids struggling with math, while Preply is a good option for students studying a foreign language.
What is a learning pod?
Learning pods have become synonymous with schooling in the wake of COVID-19. The way they usually work is that a small number of parents group together to provide tutoring or private teaching services for their children, which can either follow the online curriculum of the kids’ school, or follow a homeschooling plan.
Learning pods allow kids to continue to socialize safely, and they can help shave down on some of the costs associated with private education. On the other hand, if your child does better in a one-on-one setting — or you’re simply worried about interacting with other families during this time — then a learning pod may not be best for your family.
How much does a tutor cost?
Average private tutor costs between $25 and $80/hour, according to Tutors.com, but those prices vary drastically based on factors like location, private vs. group settings, online vs. in-person, level of experience and subject. For example, SAT and test prep tutoring prices advance to $45 to $100/hour. Also, keep in mind that if you end up hiring a tutor through a service, the service may charge additional fees on top of the tutor’s regular rate.
How do I pay a tutor?
Again, there are a number of options when it comes to paying a tutor, and it mostly boils down to the type of tutoring. Some of the most common methods of payment include:
- Hourly (per individual tutoring session)
- Monthly (a fixed, long-term rate)
- Yearly (more common if you’re going with a private, in-home teacher to help guide your child through the year)
Next Step: Apply for a Personal Line of Credit
Hiring a qualified tutor is one of the best ways to ensure that your child has all the resources and help they need during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. That’s why a First Republic Personal Line of Credit may help you to finance the costs of tutoring your child.
When you’re ready to get started, discover your rate through First Republic Bank's personal line of credit calculator.