MindLaunch offers something completely different from many other online tutoring sites: services for long-term education and teaching goals. This is a valuable approach. Most other online tutoring sites capitalize on students trying to find help in a pinch during finals week or before a big test but aren’t designed for long-term learning opportunities.

We looked for sites that offer 24/7 assistance with updated web pages and quick access to help. On other sites, many tutors we spoke to said almost all of their sessions are with new students; returning students are the exception, not the rule. At MindLaunch, the goal is to help students over longer periods, one on one, and give them a more individualized experience.

All the tutors at MindLaunch have teaching certifications, making their hiring standards higher than many other online tutoring sites. MindLaunch founder and CEO Elaine Sigal told us its applicants go through a 10-hour interview process and background check before they work with students.

Tutoring fees start at $99 for a 50-minute session. While this may sound exorbitant compared to Chegg’s 50¢ a minute plan, the pricing is comparable to tutoring sites that host teachers with advanced degrees and certificates. And while pay-as-you-go options on other sites are a nice feature, it’s rare that working with someone for less than an hour is likely to pay off if you’re trying to meet long-term learning goals.

MindLaunch’s scheduling platform and lesson suite are outdated. While the site does host private meetings and all the communication with students happens internally, the tutors primarily use WebEx and screen sharing to conduct sessions. When you go to the site, you can’t just jump online with a tutor. You put in your availability, and you’re contacted to find a good fit with someone who specializes in the subject area where you need help.

While many students reach out to MindLaunch for help with college entrance exams and applications, the program isn’t just limited to high school or college preparation. The site’s teachers will work with adult students on language skills as well as with students with special needs. Parents will get regular updates about their student’s progress.

Minute-to-minute online tutoring has its place but also presents severe limitations. While it might be nice to jump online and ask someone for help with a specific math problem or pay to have someone look over your essay, it may not be the best way to improve overall. And while some sites have ethics codes that prevent them from doing your student’s homework for you, the lines get fuzzy with the anonymity of online systems.

MindLaunch’s design and specialization deliberately prevent this kind of misuse. The site emphasizes a teacher-student relationship, as opposed to the peer-to-peer dynamics we found on other sites, and students who work with MindLaunch are going to get a specialized program designed to meet their specific educational goals. We think this site comes closest to offering the best kind tutoring help remotely. If you’re looking for sustained, one-on-one online help, MindLaunch is worth your consideration.

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