When is the best time to seek tutoring, from both an academic and cost perspective?
Parents and students often wait until mid-February, after the first exam or two, to contact a tutor. Once a student gets a C or lower on one or two exams, his chance of getting an A in the course becomes harder, and sometimes, mathematically impossible.
Economically speaking, the best time to start tutoring (if you suspect tutoring will be needed most of the semester) is at the beginning of the semester because you can ask (and likely get) a better hourly rate by prepaying for a package of tutoring sessions. Be sure to know the changes/cancellation/refund policy on packages because policies are typically more restrictive. Also, ask if there are closure dates and whether tutoring is available during spring break or national holidays. You are not likely to receive a credit or refund if you or your teen takes a break from tutoring. Remember, you’re paying for weekly tutoring, whether you choose to use it.
You might ask why a tutor would offer a discount via a tutor package. You might question whether they really are worth the higher rate when the package hourly rate is nearly half that. Think of it this way: packages save tutors time, the time that they spend talking and emailing and texting parents and students about scheduling. Packages are meant for committed students with structured schedules who just need consistent, quality service. It’s a win-win.