Aimed at ambitious families with a big budget, ArborBridge focuses on offering a personalized mentoring service to help students become better learners and improve their grades. The ArborBridge website focuses on results, boasting that nine out of 10 of its students score in the top 1% of SAT and ACT test takers.
Grades: K-12, college and graduate
Price: $160/hour K-12 tutoring, $225/hour for college-level tutoring and test prep; discounts for packages
Subjects: Covers all academic school subjects
Programs: Tutoring and test prep for ACT, SAT and other exams
Times available: Lessons held at mutually convenient time
ArborBridge is great for students with clear goals like achieving a certain score in a college admissions test. Each student is matched with both a tutor and a program manager to keep them organized and help them make the most of their lessons and they receive detailed notes to help them monitor their own progress. But the cost is prohibitive for most families and using the service requires a significant financial investment, although you can get a refund if you’re not satisfied after three lessons.
One plus point is that it offers test prep for a comprehensive range of exams from the SATs and ACTs to the International Baccalaureate and Independent School Entrance Exams. It even offers tuition for graduate-level tests.
Ease of use
The website looks great but it offers very little information about the tutors themselves or how the lessons actually work. Instead, prospective students and their families are expected to ask any questions they have using an online form with the promise of a response within one business day. Adding a clear set of FAQs would make the website easier to navigate and probably answer many of the common questions potential customers will have. However, there is a tool where you can enter your current ACT or SAT score and it will show the results of other students who started using ArborBridge with the same score. This gives an indication of how many tutoring hours may be required to achieve the results you are aiming for.
One positive is that the website includes a library of useful articles covering a range of subjects including how to tackle SAT and ACT tests and avoid stress.
ArborBridge is a premium-priced tutoring service and will be unaffordable for most families. Its K-12 tutoring starts at $160 an hour while test prep and college-level tutoring starts at an eye-watering $225 an hour. This is not only much more expensive than platforms like Preply which offer super low prices but it is also in another league to competitors like Tutor.com, Remind and Learner where lessons typically cost between $40 and $80 an hour.
The price per hour does fall if you book blocks of lessons. With K-12 academic tutoring the best value package is 60 hours, which works out at $136 an hour but this represents a significant total investment of $8,160. For both college-level and test prep tutoring, the most cost-effective option is to book 45 hours at $180 an hour.
ArborBridge does recognize that its tutoring is a substantial financial commitment but claims to be worth the investment. And if you are not satisfied with the program offered after your first three lessons, you can request a full refund.
Students using ArborBridge are assigned both a tutor and a program manager to help them through the learning process. While the tutor conducts the actual online lessons, the program manager helps with some of the other practical considerations like making sense of digital tests and managing workloads. ArborBridge focuses on offering top-level mentoring and support so students will build a relationship with their tutor who will get to know their strengths and weaknesses and which areas they need the most support in.
The website says students will be in regular contact with both their tutor and program manager with detailed lesson summaries sent out showing what progress has been made. There is little information about the tutors themselves on the ArborBridge site – it doesn’t have online profiles in the same way platforms like Preply and Tutor.com does. However, an older version of the ArborBridge website gives a bit more information, stating that all tutors have graduated from a top university in the United States and have experience of teaching and tutoring. To become an ArborBridge tutor, they must score in the top 1% in diagnostic exams in the tests they will teaching and there is a tough interview process. Tutors are also monitored by ArborBridge directors who will virtually observe some of their lessons and meet with them on a one-to-one basis.
ArborBridge started as an online tutoring company so has a digital-first approach with a whole range of tools to make its academic tutoring and test preparation services effective. The lessons over a video chat platform use whiteboards and screen sharing to make learning easier. The platform values a personalized approach so rather than directing students to the usual textbooks for their subject, ArborBridge uses data to select from hundreds of digitized lessons to find the ones which will best fit the needs of the individual learner. The service offered is as much about mentoring as tutoring and it promises to not just teach its students the right material but to show them how to become more organized and effective learners.
Students are given comprehensive lesson notes, practice exam reports and homework stats throughout and communication is carried out through a dedicated online portal. ArborBridge is heavily focused on results and reaching goals. The website claims that 90% of its students score in the top 5% of SAT and ACT tests globally.
Is it worth it?
ArborBridge offers premium academic tutoring and test prep services for both K-12 and college-level students but its personalized and thorough approach comes at a high price. Students will be matched with an experienced tutor and program manager who will mentor them every step of the way, helping them to achieve their goals, whether that is getting to grips with a subject at school or achieving a particular score in their SATs.
For families who can afford the financial investment, ArborBridge offers a customized package of tutoring services which promises to achieve ambitious results. And the platform is confident enough in the quality of its offering that it offers a money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied after three lessons, you can receive a full refund.