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How To Hire A College Tutor

January 13, 2011

Enjoy this guest post by Diane Johnson!

How to Hire a College Tutor

It’s hard to know when you are in over your head in a class you’ve taken, but once you feel like you are staring to flounder, it can be beneficial to ask for help from someone who knows a lot about the subject. Most colleges offer tutoring services, and TAs are there to help you get extra help if you need it. But in looking for the right tutor, it’s difficult to know where to start. Hiring a tutor doesn’t have to be hard, follow these steps to get started.

Set a Goal

Before you start looking for a tutor, determine what the goal of your tutoring should be. In a college class, a goal could be a certain grade by the end of the semester, or it could be to help raise your GPA by a few points by the end of the year. Whatever your goal may be, make sure you know what you want so that you and your tutor will have something to work toward.

Place an Ad

Although many colleges have campus-sponsored tutors, they may not have a tutor who fits your needs, or may not have formal services available. If not, you can place an ad on Craigslist, local online job boards, or on campus job boards. List the area in which you want tutoring, the rate you are willing to pay, and the requirements you are seeking. If you are looking to succeed in a certain class, ask for a tutor that has gotten an A in the class previously. If you are looking for longer-term help in a certain subject matter, like English, look for a tutor who is an upper-level English major or Graduate student.


Just because a tutor is experienced in one academic subject doesn’t mean they are right for you. As you talk to potential candidates, look not only for academic excellence but also for a personality that clicks with your own. Getting along with your tutor and building a relationship with them will help both of you get the most out of your tutoring sessions. If possible, you can ask the tutor for references of other people they have tutored. Talking to past students can give you a good idea of how your tutoring relationship will go.

Determine Your Schedule and Rate

Tutors don’t have to be expensive, but they probably won’t work for free either. A good starting rate is $25 an hour or more if they are an extremely good tutor and have more experience. If you decide to have two, one-hour sessions a week, that’s only $50 a week. Not bad for helping you get an A in the class. Make sure you decide on a schedule that works for both of you and a rate that will keep you both happy.

Admitting that you need help can feel embarrassing, but a good tutor will help you build confidence in your abilities and help you reach your goals, making it all worthwhile.

Diane Johnson graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing, particularly about travel and online schools.

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