How to Start a Tutoring Business in College [2018]

If you’ve read our guide on “25 Best Ways to Make Extra Money in College [2018]” then you’ll notice that tutoring is one of the best ways to make extra cash while in college. Benefits of tutoring include flexibility (make your own availabilities), relatively high wage, teaching experience, great resume builder and much more. Here’s a guide on how to start a tutoring business in college [2018]. The main requirement is that you know the subject extremely well, or you’ve complete the course with an A or higher. Other skills include great communication and attention to detail.

In college, tutoring is popular (and demanding) in most mathematics or finance related fields/ courses:
• Business: Finance, Accounting, and Economics courses
A tip would be to dig into the first year courses of business with heavy math as most students transitioning from high schools will lack the skills and require extra help to achieve a passing grade.
• Mathematics: Physics and Engineer
Engineer and Physics tutors may charge more as it requires more expertise and knowledge.


1. Post an ad on your local college community forum/ Facebook, Kijiji, or Craigslist- it’s free (try not to pay any money on advertising). Here’s how you can price it: look up for tutoring services similar to what you’re offering, and price it accordingly (lower the price if you’re just starting out to win out on competition). Tutoring services go from $15/hr – $60/hr+ depending on the subject and experience. You can make the 2nd hr cheaper when you start off: this helps you increase your absolute revenue and helps your client learn more of the material while giving them a small discount. For example: 1st hour is $30, and the 2nd hour will be $20. Phrased differently you can put: $30/hr and $50/ 2hr.

The following is a typical example of a tutoring ad, feel free to use it as a template and make adjustments according to your own skills, schedule and topic.
When writing an ad, make sure you include a little bit of SEO (search engine optimization). So, list the specific courses (by course code) of your university that you are teaching, and any other specific relevant keywords or details related (this helps search engines find you).



My name is  __Einstein____  and I am in my last year of Mechanical Engineering from ___Hogwarts University___. I am offering my tutoring services in mathematics and physics. I have 3 years of TA experience and I’ve taught mathematics to elementary, junior high school, college and university students for 3 years. I have a 3.9 CGPA and achieved a perfect grade in Engineering 101 (ENG 101), Astrodynamics 505 (AST 505) and many other related courses [Add and describe your achievements here]. I’m super friendly and honest. I can provide older test material, questions and personal notes for the more popular courses.

I can meet you anywhere on ___Hogwarts Campus___, preferably around a Starbucks or a the public library. I am available in the Monday-Friday after 3pm and from 11am- 6pm on the weekends.

My rate is $20/hr for the first hour and $15 onwards. My sessions are usually $35/ 2 hrs. I respond very quickly to messages [Charge your rate accordingly- try and make it attractive, like a special or a sale, alternatively, you could market it like this too: My rate is $20/hr or $35/2 hr]. If you could e-mail or text me a message before our meeting with some of your own material, tests, midterms or exams, that would be great!

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Here is a full list of courses I tutor, message me if you have a different course code [Omit this part if you only teach one class]:

ENG 101, 702, 909
MATH 100, 200, 300, 500
PHY 100, 200, 300,



Once you get your first potential student through e-mail or text (yay! congrats!), be sure to ask what their goals and what they want to get out of your services. It’s usually a helping hand to pass a test, midterm, final exam or with a project.

Typical questions you want to ask/ have an answer to before meeting up with them:
• How proficient are they in the subject?
• Which part do they need help understanding?
• What is their class teaching method? Powerpoint? Textbook heavy?
• Do they have the textbook, notes, test material or mock exams?

Ask them to bring their own textbook and resources. Course material rarely changes, so older version of textbooks are relatively reliable in terms of content. You can ask them to send the material ahead of time if you feel like you need to quickly review it.

Always confirm an appointment a few hours before meeting up with the student (in case of a “no-show”). Just a quick text message with the following: “Hey Jill, It’s __Einstein___, just confirming our tutoring session this afternoon at 3pm” will do the trick.

It’s recommended to meet them in a public place/ library and charge per hour. Always be punctual! It’s unprofessional to arrive late. If you do come late for any reason, offer a small time extension for their troubles (customer skills 101). You can think of making the meeting location easily accessible for yourself (this cuts on travel time and costs).


Here’s where all your knowledge and communication skills will count. If you can, prepare ahead of time, review the material and ask the student to send you what they are looking to learn. Tips for teaching include assessing and prioritizing and improving the spots where the student has difficulties. It’s important to be patient and empathetic, try and see the problem from the student’s point of view. Acknowledge that they may not have the same tools and experience as you do. One of the main points to assess is the strength of their base knowledge. For instance, if they are having problems with integral calculus, perhaps refresh the basics of derivatives (go back to the basics). Mastering the basics and building upwards like a pyramid with a strong foundation will help immensely. Of course, this will depend on how much time you have with the student before their test.
Most of the time, you will work on practice problems and will guide a student through your thought process to achieving the correct answer. Try to have the student as active as possible during the walkthrough so they can solve the problem independently in the future.

Some general goals you want to achieve are:

• Make the tutee feel comfortable, encourage them to ask questions
• Ensuring that the student understands and has a strong basic foundation in the subject
• Ensure and foster independent problem solving
• Encourage critical thinking
• Further build on what the student already knows

Every student’s knowledge and learning curve will be different, so teaching styles and approaches will need to be adjusted. Your teaching skills will also gain from a learning curve as you gain experience. Being nervous is normal as a first time tutor, knowing your material well will give you the confidence to make the tutoring session a pleasant one.

Here are some useful links on teaching/ tutoring related strategies:

Tips for Tutors from Cornell
Tutoring Tips
• How to Tutor Effectively (using research based approaches)
• What Makes a Successful Tutor 
Tutoring Techniques 


Once you’ve finished the tutoring session, always end off with a review and provide constructive feedback. Guide your student on what to look forward to next (session) and what they should practice back home. As you finish your tutoring lessons altogether with your student, kindly ask for a review and some feedback for yourself and your teaching style. Encourage them to speak their mind, as it will further help you exponentiate your teaching learning curve and provide useful feedback to boost your service and improve your business. It’s important to stay in contact with the student and wish them well on their test day (this is not only for an honest encouragement but will help your marketing). When all is done, kindly ask them to recommend you to their friends- a good word of mouth goes a long way in business.

“E-learning” has gained traction in the past years and allows you to leverage the benefits of the internet and fuse it with your tutoring. If you’ve got an expertise, gained enough experience, or you’ve got a specific skill you want to teach but don’t want the physical hassle of moving around, there are plenty of online platforms that let you build courses and sell them! Here are a few: UdemySkillShare and Teachable.

Tutoring and turning that into your own business is challenging work. But it’s a rewarding feeling to help another individual in need, and even better when you get paid well to do it! You can scale your business later by making courses online or YouTube videos. Good luck on your tutoring business!

Related Huncht Posts:

Best Tips to Save Money in College [2018]
25 Best Ways to Make Extra Money in College [2018]


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