College is a time of great change. Unlike in elementary and middle school, it is the first time that students are living away from home and managing their schedules. And between juggling classes, homework, extracurriculars, part-time jobs, and a budding social life, managing your busy schedule as a college student is no picnic.
While it can be a tough adjustment, there are plenty of people and resources available to help students through this transition. First and foremost, give your college student time to adjust. It can take a few weeks, sometimes a few months, to get used to new surroundings and a new routine. Be patient and give your college student time to settle in.
That said, it’s also important to reach out for help when you need it. If your student is struggling to adjust to college-level courses, there are various resources that you can take advantage of. One of the best resources to turn to is a college tutor.
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The Bottom Line
- What to Know – and Ask – Before You Start Your Search – There are several indicators that your child may need a college tutor, particularly failing grades and low test scores. Talk to your child about what is going on in their life and what they are struggling with in college to get a better idea of whether they need college tutoring.
- How Can I Find the Right College Tutor? – When searching for the perfect professional tutor for you, consider your goals, ask for recommendations, factor in a tutor’s qualifications, experience, and character traits, consider your child’s schedule, and figure out your tutoring budget.
- What Are the Types of College Tutors Available? – Student tutors, study groups, local tutors, private tutors, tutoring centers, and online professional tutors are some of the tutoring options available to you.
- Online vs. In-Person Tutoring – Which is Better for My Student? While most college students will prefer online tutoring to in-person tutoring, students who are easily distracted or who have learning disabilities may learn better in an in-person environment.
- Ready to get started? Match with a college tutor today!
What to Know – and Ask – Before You Start Your Search for a College Tutor?
Before you begin searching for professional help, it’s important to know whether a college tutor is the best solution for your child. It’s always possible that poor grades and low test scores are signs of something else going on in your child’s life. Perhaps your child is struggling to juggle their numerous responsibilities in college or is stressed about making new friends.
A failing grade is the most evident indicator that something is awry with your child’s school life. Many different factors could be causing this problem. Perhaps your child is not studying properly, or they don’t understand the material. Sit down with your child and ask them if they are struggling with a particular subject or whether an outside factor is impacting their grades.
Keep in mind that tutoring isn’t reserved for students who are failing a course. Tutoring can also lead to a higher grade point average and a greater chance that your child will stay in school.
A common issue with new college students is that they are unorganized. Oftentimes, intelligent students will understand the assignments and material they are presented with but will be unable to prepare properly due to poor time management, organization, and prioritization skills. If you believe that this is the source of the problem, a tutor can help break things down for your college student by teaching them basic organizational skills.
High marks on homework assignments and low test scores is another common issue among college students. Test preparation is a unique skill in and of itself, and a tutor can help equip your child with the tools they need to problem solve in the future.
How Can I Find the Right College Tutor?
If you believe that your college student can benefit from the help of a tutor, the next step is finding the right college tutor for you. Here are some tips and tricks to help you find the right college tutor for you.
Figure Out Your Goals
Before anything else, you need to figure out what you want your child to get out of their tutoring experience. Sit down with your child and ask what courses they need help with and what their preferred learning style is. This information will be beneficial in guiding your search.
For instance, if your child needs help with Algebra II, you will want to search for college math tutors with relevant subject matter expertise. If your child is a visual learner, then you will want to hire a tutor who can help cater to your child’s preferred learning methods.
Ask for Recommendations
If you are looking for a college tutor, you are not alone. During the pandemic, 1 in 5 upper-income families hired a tutor for their child. Strongly consider reaching out to friends and family members and asking if they have any tutors or tutoring services that they recommend.
Also, consider reaching out to someone who works at your child’s college or university. These experts will likely know who has the right qualifications and what tutors previous college students may have worked with in the past. For instance, there may be multiple local tutoring services in your child’s college town. University staff members will have a better understanding of which services are worth your while and which ones may be overpriced with little to no merit.
Determine a Tutor’s Experience and Qualifications
Experience and qualifications are two of the most important factors to pay attention to when selecting your college tutor. A tutor needs to have experience teaching students at the college level in subjects similar to the one that your child needs help with. When conducting your search, do not just search for college tutors but college tutors for online math if that is who you are searching for.
Before hiring a tutor:
- Ask if you can have a quick phone call beforehand.
- Ask the tutor about where they went to school, what they studied, how long they have been tutoring, and if they have completed any type of teacher or tutor training.
- Check if the tutor has worked with students similar to your child in the past, and ask how they have been able to help those students achieve academic success.
While a tutor’s qualifications and experience are important, so are their character traits. It’s important to hire a tutor who is patient, flexible, friendly, and reliable. If your tutor is not a good teacher or a sociable person, there’s a strong chance that your child will not like or respect this professional. If your child does not have a good working relationship with their tutor, they are unlikely to benefit from their tutoring experience.
You also want to ensure that a tutor and child have compatible working styles. While some students may respond better to strict guidelines and a firm hand, others may need more gentle nudging and encouragement. You know your child better than anyone else, so make sure to factor this information into your tutoring decision.
A college student’s schedule is busier than most. Between balancing classes, studying, after-school sports, and other extracurriculars, it might be difficult to find time to squeeze in regular tutoring sessions. To make things easier for your child, try to find someone who is within walking distance of the college or university. If finding someone close by is too difficult, consider opting for an online tutor. If your child is unavailable to work on weekdays, ask a tutor if they are willing to conduct weekend tutoring sessions.
Figure Out Your Budget
Money is an inevitable part of the conversation when it comes to finding the right tutor. Before beginning your search, sit down and figure out how much you can afford to spend on a tutor. Put together a monthly budget so you can find someone that you can afford to pay long-term if needed.
What are the Types of College Tutors Available?
From private tutors to local tutoring centers, there are many different tutors available for your child to work with. Each type of tutor has various pros and cons. Here is what you should know about the options you are working with.
Professors for certain college courses, particularly STEM courses such as biology or calculus, will often hire a designated student tutor to help out with the class. This student tutor is usually someone who previously took the course and excelled in it. Student tutors will often host weekly or bi-weekly tutoring sessions that students can attend if they need extra help with the course.
There are pros and cons to working with a student tutor. This tutor will know the ins and outs of your college student’s class and be able to provide insider knowledge on how to excel in this class. Working with a student tutor is also free. While student tutors will be able to answer questions on homework assignments and test prep, their study help and assistance often ends there. If your child is struggling with multiple classes or needs help with organization or test prep skills, you would be better off working with another type of tutor.
If your college student is struggling with a particular course, then you can also recommend that they sign up for a study group. While working with a study group is not the same as tutoring, this strategy can be effective for certain students.
For instance, your child may have the potential to excel academically, but right now, classes and schoolwork are being overshadowed by parties and social events. If your child merely needs a nudge in the right direction, encouraging them to join a study group is a great go-to solution. Study groups are a fun and social way for your child to get help with homework and prioritize academics while also making some new friends along the way.
Local Tutoring Center
It is very common for colleges and universities to have local tutoring centers nearby. These tutoring centers will often employ full-time staff members to help students with their assignments or answer homework questions. Opting for a local tutoring center means that your child can receive help on assignments in a wide range of courses, from English Literature to Calculus II.
One of the downsides of tutoring centers is they can often be expensive. You will want to figure out your tutoring budget before selecting this pricier option.
One-on-one tutoring is often the most effective type of tutoring, as it allows the tutor to tailor lessons to the specific needs of the student. Whether your child needs help with organization skills or prepping for a particular test, a private tutor can cater each lesson to a student’s strengths and weaknesses. A private tutor can also help a student fill in any knowledge gaps that they may not have learned during high school or previous college courses.
Private tutoring also removes all of the stressors that are present in a classroom setting. A student will feel more at ease, knowing that they can work at their own pace and feel comfortable asking questions without feeling worried that they might embarrass themselves in front of their peers.
In this day and age, an increasing number of students are opting for online tutoring over in-person tutoring services. Online tutoring offers all of the same benefits as in-person tutoring but with additional perks. For instance, students save both time and money when opting for online tutoring services.
Tutoring rates vary widely, and they can quickly add up, especially if a student is locked into a regular appointment that they don’t need. More often than not, college students will need help during midterms and finals week, when a bulk of assignments and exams are taking place. Online math tutoring allows you to get help when you need it, whether it’s a five-minute math question or an hour-long test preparation session.
Lifelong Skills to Start with the Right Tutor
Online vs. In-Person Tutoring — Which is Better for My Student?
While some students may thrive in an online tutoring environment, other students may learn better by working with a tutor in person. Online tutoring is a beneficial option for the majority of college students for several reasons. While a standing Tuesday tutoring session may be a game changer for students who are building upon foundational skills and knowledge, it may feel like a chore for students who primarily need help with test prep and big homework assignments.
Regular sessions don’t always coincide with a looming test or a difficult project. With an online tutor, you can get help whenever you need it, whether it’s at 10 p.m. or 6 a.m. on the morning of an exam.
Online tutoring is also beneficial for students who need help with more than one subject. If you are working with one private tutor in person, there’s a strong chance that they aren’t an expert in both organic chemistry and Spanish. Online tutoring services have a vast network of tutors who specialize in a wide variety of subjects. Depending on what subject you need help with, there will always be someone who can assist you on any given day or at any time.
By opting for online tutoring, you are also never limited by your geographical location. If you live in a small college town, the options for a private Chinese tutor may be few and far between. When it comes to online tutoring, you can work with tutors from different states, different time zones, and even different countries.
While many students may prefer working with online tutors, other students may struggle to spend long periods staring at a screen. If your child is easily distracted or has a learning disability, it may be easier for them to work with a tutor who is physically in the same room as them.
Want to learn more about our tutors? Here are five of the many tutors in Learner’s network!
Anette has been a tutor for 3+ years, continuing to share her knowledge with other learners.
She has worked with students of all ages, ranging from 2nd grade to college level. She loves to meet others and hear their stories. A former finance major at the City College of NY, Anette has tutored students in all levels of math, ranging from elementary to calculus II. However, her strengths revolve around algebra, the foundation of math entirely.
Anette uses a blend of unique, sophisticated yet simplistic tactics to enable others to learn most effectively. She enhances success right from the first session to ensure that students are in the right mindset and constantly challenging themselves in their learning. Anette believes that understanding fundamentals and building from there will bring success at a quicker rate.
An alumna of Wesleyan College and Mercer University, Chelsea has tutored for almost 16 years. After receiving a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics, Chelsea went on to tutor math students in elementary, middle high school, and college.
Chelsea's top priority is to create a learning environment where everyone feels safe and valued and has fun. Chelsea encourages all her students to be open-minded upon entering her classroom. Some sessions may involve making videos, coloring pictures, and playing games, among other things. Regardless, the primary focus is learning, goal-setting, and a growth mindset.
Dylan has been tutoring students in math since 2016. This University of North Carolina alum earned his degree in mathematics in 2020 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in math at the City University of New York. Dylan has tutored students in math in every grade level, from early elementary school to college. He has helped students improve in pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, single and multivariable calculus, and ACT And SAT math.
Dylan’s tutoring mission is to help his students fall in love with math. He teaches his students to solve problems by doing tricks with their hands, drawing pictures, doing thought experiments, and looking for patterns. Above all, Dylan strives to treat his students with the respect and friendship that all his fellow mathematicians-in training deserve.
After working in various industries, such as industrial recycling, investment management, and college admissions, Gerard is now a full-time math tutor. Gerard received a bachelor’s in civil engineering and MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and has worked with students in middle school, high school, and college.
Gerard’s tutoring philosophy is that anybody can learn anything with enough patience and support. Everyone’s brain develops in a unique way. While some math topics may be a breeze, others may be more challenging. Gerard aims to link math to wherever a student’s interests may lie, whether that’s art, music, business, politics, big data science, giant robotics, or everyday life.
Linda has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Michigan State University and has been tutoring math since 1998. While she currently is a math professor at a local community college, Linda tutors middle school, high school, college, and adult learners in her free time.
Linda understands that every student learns differently and may require a different teaching approach. Thus, she likes to show her students several examples of problems they are learning, along with multiple techniques. From there, Linda will approach every session based on how the student learns best.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What does a college tutor do?
A college tutor works with students who are taking college-level courses. A college tutor can help students with homework assignments and test preparation for a specific course or work with a student to improve upon college-level skills like organization and time management.
What are college tutors called?
Someone who is tutoring college-level students is typically referred to as a college tutor. However, some tutors who are employed or working at a university may be referred to as teacher assistants (TA) or student tutors.
Is being a tutor good for college?
Working as a high school tutor can look good on a college resume. High school tutors can show that they can work with students one-on-one. This can be a valuable skill for college students who may need to tutor their peers in subjects they are struggling with.
How much is a university tutor?
There is no set cost for working with a university tutor. Some universities may charge an hourly rate, while others may offer a flat rate for a certain number of hours. Some tutors may also offer discounts for students who sign up for multiple sessions.
How do students find tutors?
There are several ways that students can find tutors. Some students find tutors through their school or university, while others find tutors through private companies or online services. Many online tutoring platforms can also connect students with tutors.
How do I find an independent tutor?
You can ask your child's school for recommendations, search online, or ask family and friends if they know anyone who tutors. Once you have a few potential tutors, you can interview them to see if they would be a good fit for your child.
How do you tutor someone in college?
If you are interested in tutoring at your college, reach out to one of your professors. They will be able to provide you with more information about general tutoring at your university. If you are interested in tutoring for a particular class, reach out to that tutor directly.