Varsity Tutors was founded in 2007, as an in-home tutoring service, in St. Louis, MO, USA. Over the years, it has expanded its services and its clientele throughout the U.S., as technology and natural growth have occurred. Today, it offers tutoring services to students anywhere in the U.S. and maintains satellite offices in many major cities.
When we look at tutoring services, we have different evaluative factors, but the basics remain the same.
- Is there a broad scope of services?
- Are the tutors degreed and qualified? And are they assigned according to those specialties?
- How reliable are tutors in keeping appointment times, as verified by actual customers?
- What is the quality of services, as verified by customers?
- Is there a responsive customer support department?
- What are the costs, and are they comparable to other trustworthy tutoring services?
This VarsityTutors review summarizes what we found.
Costs are not published on the VarsityTutors website. These are discussed with customers (parents or students) when an inquiry is made by contacting the company administration. Basically, a potential customer states the type of tutoring services needed, how they want to have that tutoring delivered, and then a price-per-hour will be emailed to them.
We placed a request for high school level geometry tutoring and received a quote of $30 per hour.
VarsityTutors pricing is divided into categories based upon the age of the student and the type of tutoring requested. It may be in-person physically or online, as the customer requests and costs will differ. Obviously, online is a bit cheaper because the tutor does not have to travel to a destination – either the student’s home or a neutral location of choice. There are also emergency last-minute services available, but they will be pricey.
The price quoted to a customer is fixed and firm. There are no VarsityTutors discounts, and no fees may be negotiated with a tutor outside of the system.
Types of Services
VarsityTutors.com began as a strictly in-home tutoring service in 2007. And it was confined to the St. Louis metropolitan area. As it has evolved, since then, so have its services. It now provides all of the following:
- Tutoring in a student’s home or on college campuses. There are VarsityTutors satellite offices all over the country, and if students live within metro areas of major cities, they will be able to get an in-house person-to-person tutor.
- In-person tutoring at neutral locations. Some students and parents prefer to work with a tutor at a neutral location rather than their homes. This is typically at a library or coffee shop, or community center. The VarsityTutors employee meets the student there at the appointed time and for the contracted time.
- Online tutoring allows VarsityTutors.com to reach out to students in virtually any location in the U.S. This tutoring occurs via video conferencing and is actually face-to-face. To get this online tutoring, parents or students merely call VarsityTutors and make arrangements for a number of hours, dates, and times.
- Test Prep is a big concern for high school students (ACT, SAT) and college students who are preparing for graduate school admissions. VarsityTutors offers test prep in all grad program testing (Miller’s Analogy, GRE, SSAT, etc.).
- VarsityTutors English composition tutors assist students with admissions, scholarship, and personal statement essays.
- There is also 24/7 emergency assistance, should a student require some last-minute help, even in the middle of the night. It will definitely cost a bit.
- There are also some free resources for students on the VarsityTutors site – practice tests and flashcards.
We find that there is a wide scope of services offered by VarsityTutors.com.
The process of obtaining a tutor is clear-cut. A student or parent contacts the company and explains the need. The company provides a pricing quote. If agreed upon, Varsitytutors then assigns an appropriate tutor, and students and tutors work directly. Payment is made to VarsityTutors. It takes its commission and provides the remainder to the tutor.
Tutors are not paid until they provide a summary of each session. And students/parents are also asked for their feedback on their sessions. We looked on the web and on our own site for customer comments.
Again, these are quite simple. The customer makes payment via any major credit or debit card or through PayPal.
There is always a concern when customers present their financial data via the Internet. VarsityTutors does provide the security and safety that we want to see – primarily via a third-party processing firm with the highest level of SSL certification.
We did not expect to see the types of guarantees that writing services provide. But we do want to see promises that result in customer satisfaction. As we reviewed the VarsityTutors website and obtained some customer feedback, we find the following guarantees:
- Refunds are applied whenever a tutoring session is not held as scheduled, and it is the fault of the tutor, not the student.
- Parents and students may file complaints about tutoring services and request refunds. VarsityTutors handles these on an individual basis.
- Parents and students may request a new tutor at any time in the process, and this request will be honored.
- VarsityTutors does promise effective and successful tutoring to its customers, and it does have procedures and policies in place when these are disputed.
- All VarsityTutors employed tutors are qualified to conduct the tutoring they do
These are good guarantees for a tutoring service. And to back up their guarantee of qualified tutors, they do provide profiles. We are a bit concerned about their claims that they provide graduates of top-quality Ivy League schools – Harvard, Stanford, Yales, etc. when we looked at some of their tutor profiles, we did not find any graduates of these institutions. In fact, a lot of their tutors are college and grad students who provide services to elementary and secondary students.
Is Site Legit?
Absolutely. Varsitytutors.com represents a company that has been around since 2007 and, offering limited and basic services and then expanding and growing as demand and technology evolved. Today, it is a fairly reputable company that offers tutoring services and other resources to students from elementary school through college.
Here is what we see as the biggest benefits of VarsityTutors:
- Variety of options – in-person, in-home, neutral locations, video conferencing
- A good match between student and tutor brings success
- Methods in place to request a different tutor
- Responsive customer support
- Emergency 24/7 service
We also would point out what we consider some issues:
- General VarsityTutors statements about tutor profiles are exaggerated. This is not necessary.
- There are no discounted prices for long-term customers
- Customer reviews not widely available on the web.
To Sum Up
Varsitytutors.com is a reputable and widely used tutoring service. Its pricing is a bit on the high-average side, but it does provide services no matter where a student may be geographically. We think VarsityTutors is a viable company for students to use, so long as they get a good “match” for a tutor.