5 Cheap Online Tutoring Services Can Help Get Your Kids Back on Track

A little girl learns how to do ballet through online tutoring.
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Tutoring has become big business since the start of the pandemic disrupted schools and sent many students to school in their living rooms.

Initially, tutors were needed to help with learning pods and with kids at virtual school in one room while parents were working from home in another. Today? Parents are reaching out to tutors in an effort to help their kids make up for a year’s worth of uneven growth. And that study help may be needed even more now schools begin to open up and there have been many promises to be back to normal in the fall.

According to Tutors.com, the average price of a tutor service ranges from $25 to $80 per hour  and this number can go up significantly for SAT tutoring, where it can go as high as $250 per hour in places like New York and California. High schools students eyeing college are looking for tutoring services to help them meet their test score goals.

5 Cheap Online Tutoring Services

Thankfully, it’s not necessary to pay those prices for excellent tutoring services. There are many online tutoring programs that charge significantly less and can help boost both ability and grades for your student. Here is a sampling:

1. Varsity Tutors

They offer everything from test prep to photography to standard academic class tutoring in a bunch of formats. All the classes and tutoring are live. If your student needs immediate help, you can request an instant tutor, and one will be online ASAP according to availability.

Cost: There are many options. Unlimited tutoring sessions for $19 per month are available if you’re willing to have your student be in a group of 25 to 30 virtual students. Varsity also has small group classes of 6 to 9 students starting at $12 per hour. Some large group classes are offered free, such as The Death of Julius Caesar (grades 5-12); and Discovering Raptors (grades 2-5). Private tutors are relatively expensive, from $70-$95 per hour.

2. Outschool

This tutoring site became popular in 2020 because it offers so many virtual classes. Outschool’s focus is group classes and group tutoring. My third grader took everything from a Broadway musical class to a reptile course, and she loved them all. If you like a teacher, you can follow them on Outschool to see what else they’re teaching (we did this once my daughter found a teacher she loved). Outschool does more than academic tutoring: They have classes in dance, gaming and essentially any topic you can imagine. Private tutoring is also available. Their tutors range from college students to college professors to experts in their fields.

Cost: This varies due to the frequency of the class (some are monthlong and some are single sessions). A private 30-minute math tutor usually charges about $35; while a group improv class may cost $12 per hour for up to 12 students.

3. Chegg

Don’t need a tutoring session but still need help with random math problems or essay writing? This site offers creative, inexpensive ways to help. They have tutors available 24/7 for help with homework problems and editing. You simply upload the problem or the essay, and tutors will get back to you ASAP (typically within 30 minutes) with help. This is especially great for kids who refuse to get a tutor but could still use daily help.

Cost: $10 per month for the Chegg Math Solver (plug in any math program, and the site will explain how to solve it); $15 per month for homework answers and 24/7 access to experts for questions; free flashcards; $10 per month to email for online writing help or to edit papers.

4. Skooli

This is best for students who need a little homework help from an occasional tutor. The company charges 82 cents per minute with a 15-minute minimum, and you pay as you go. There are no contracts and no commitments. They have tutors in nearly every subject, from math to science to business. Once you ask your question or explain where you’re stuck, the company reaches out to their tutors. A tutor should connect with you within a few minutes to start the video session.

Cost: 82 cents per minute with a 15-minute minimum ($12.30).

5. TutorMe

Get a top tutor in less than 30 seconds, 24 hours per day. Most of the tutors are from Ivy League or the equivalent schools, and only 4% of the tutors who apply to this company are accepted. Help in 300 subjects from elementary school through college-level.

Cost: There are various options, depending on your needs. If you need a tutor twice a week, you can choose the 8-hour monthly option, which is $209 per month ($26 per hour). Or, for less time, choose 2 hours per month for $69 monthly. You can always add on additional minutes, from 44 cents to 58 cents each depending on your plan.

The Penny Hoarder contributor Danielle Braff is a Chicago writer who specializes in consumer goods and shopping on a budget. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Real Simple and more.