Tutor.com is an online tutoring website acquired by The Princeton Review, the undisputed number one resource for college students in the United States. It’s featured on our list of the best online tutoring services primarily thanks to its association with The Princeton Review, but in our review for 2020, we find that the service isn’t as well-rounded as initially thought, and that the results are mixed, according to students and parents. Despite this, we find that it’s worth looking into, especially if the student is preparing for higher education. With tutors specializing in over 40 topics, flexible payment options, and a commitment to getting students better grades, we urge children in military families and high school students in particular to consider Tutor.com.
As part of The Princeton Review family, Tutor.com is backed by an organization that many students planning to enter higher education turn to, whether it’s for test prep or looking at university and college rankings. While browsing the site, we found it a little confusing to find out exactly what Tutor.com can offer, especially because The Princeton Review has its own tutoring program and plans that are separate from Tutor.com’s. The Princeton Review specializes in higher education tutoring and classes, while Tutor.com’s focus is mainly on students looking for an extra boost in grades prior to entering college. In fact, Tutor.com’s page for ‘For higher education’ doesn’t detail what it can offer - only that it can help a student get better grades through on-demand and scheduled tutoring. For more information, including cost, students must fill out a form with the name of their school, as Tutor.com has special rates and partnerships depending on the institution.
If you are interested in signing up for Tutor.com, you can search for a topic in the search box on the home page. Once you do, you’ll be redirected to a page featuring tutors, which is immediately blocked from viewing until you sign up. In that regard, Tutor.com doesn’t allow access to as much information like tutor profiles without a profile, unlike Wyzant. Upon signing up, you’ll get a complementary tutoring session with Tutor.com.
If you are a member of the military of the student in a military family, you are eligible for free tutoring, which alone makes this one of the top tutoring websites available, considering how many students entering college are either the children of a parent in the military, students who are themselves choosing to enroll in an ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) Program, or students who have already served and are continuing or finishing their education.
Alternatively, you can sign up through the website’s pricing page. We found the pricing page as equally confusing as the Tutor.com and Princeton Review websites, although the options are fairly flexible. After clicking on the Tutor.com pricing page as indicated on the site’s FAQ section, we found that the service adopted The Princeton Review’s pricing structure. The first pricing page offers two types of plans: subscriptions for a number of hours per month, which start at 1 hour per month for $39.99, or one-time payments for a number of hours the student can use over the course of 6 months. An extension of the pricing page indicates that a student can opt for up to 10 hours per month if a subscription is chosen.
Tutor.com isn't the cheapest option we found, but it also isn’t the most expensive (though it seems so on the page). For most plans, the hourly rate hovers around $40, which is relatively inexpensive - however, the costs can amount. Tutor.com doesn’t offer sessions lasting less than an hour, and both the recurring sum and the total sum can be daunting for many families. This makes Tutor.com an investment, rather than a short-term solution for tutoring, and that’s how the website would like customers to view it as indicated by its Good Grades guarantee. The Good Grades guarantee is essentially a money-back guarantee, potentially worth hundreds of dollars, but with many prerequisites and conditions. Per the Tutor.com website:
- "To qualify for the guarantee you must work with our tutors for a total of 120 minutes per month, for each of the six consecutive months, in the subject you want covered by our guarantee."
- "To qualify for the guarantee you must be a student in grade 6 through 12, enrolled in an accredited public, private, parochial, or charter school in the United States. "
- "To qualify for the guarantee you must either be taking the same course across six months, or be transitioning from a natural prerequisite course without a break in time longer than a summer. "
- "You must be between the ages of 10 and 19 and not have a learning disability or otherwise be eligible for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) undere the Americans with Disabilities Act. "
Furthermore, unused hours don’t roll over, which we found to be a great disadvantage to students who don’t have enough time in a month to use up their hours (this can be due to anything from personal circumstances, after-school activities, or greater amounts of time dedicated to working).
Tutor.com review: Lessons and tutoring
If Tutor.com is a big investment, then the return on investment appears to be a mixed bag for many families. While there is little risk for families and students who pay a lower price or who get Tutor.com services at no cost, a big portion of families are pouring hundreds of dollars into boosting their students’ grades. Not all of them are satisfied, and Tutor.com has fewer positive reviews by customers (despite the Good Grades guarantee) than other online tutoring sites we reviewed like Chegg Tutors or Skooli. There are many complaints about the tutors themselves, who (to many) appear to be unprepared and not as knowledgeable about the topics they teach. To that end, we didn’t find any information on how tutors were vetted by Tutors.com when other websites are keen on establishing how their professionals were tested. This doesn’t particularly inspire confidence in Tutors.com, and that’s what we found the general sentiment about the site to be among parents and students. Though the experience is, of course, dependent on how good the student-tutor match up is, we found too many negative reviews to confidently recommend this service for families who would be spending hundreds of dollars.
Grades: K through 12
Price: Subscriptions starting at $39.99 per hour per month, One-time purchases starting at $349.99 for 10 hours over 6 months.
Subjects: 40+ subjects including english, math, science, and more
Programs: Tutoring, test prep
Times available: Availability dependent on tutor
Tutor.com review: Learning tools
In our research into Tutor.com, we found no indication that the online tutoring site offers any learning tools for students. Chegg Tutors is the best option for students who want to learn in ways other than through tutoring, with the help of online tools like flash cards and math solvers. In that regard, Tutor.com is a relatively bare-bones online tutoring website.
While there aren’t many tools for students, libraries, schools, and corporations can get deals on cost and reduced rates, so students who sign up through those institutions will benefit.
Should I choose Tutor.com?
Overall, Tutor.com is not a bad service: while there have been negative experiences as reported by parents and students, there are still some decent tutors working for the site. It offers generous cost reductions and packages for military families and has special rates for families through corporations, libraries, and schools. For this reason alone, it’s worth looking into if you are a parent with a child in high school. We do not find Tutor.com to be the best for younger students (we suggest Club Z! for that age group). But for high schoolers with their sights set on college and studying for tests like the SATs and the AP exams, Tutor.com’s association with The Princeton Review makes it a worthy choice and earns it a place on our list of the best online tutoring services.