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Topic: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Replies: 39   Last Post: Oct 16, 2010 10:33 PM

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Dave L. Renfro

Posts: 4,484
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Posted: Oct 7, 2010 12:34 PM
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Robert Hansen wrote:

http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7232068

> In 78 I was in high school and tutored community college
> students in physics. It was really good pay for a high
> school student at the time. $15 an hour if I remember
> correctly. But I knew of no one in high school being tutored.


That sounds astronomically high, but maybe rates were
much higher in Florida than in rural North Carolina.
I spent most of my HS Senior year, and the summer afterwards,
working at a Fish and Steak restaurant. It was literally
a mom-and-pop place, since the owner and his wife had
been the cook and waitress until I was hired to take
over pretty much everything so they could talk to their
customer friends. I did this approximately 4:30 to 10:30
Thur, Fri, and Sat evenings (and, beginning a month or
two before school let out, he began opening for "Sunday
brunch", so for the last few months I worked around 10 a.m.
to 2 or 3 p.m. on Sundays) for around $2 an hour, maybe
$2.20 or $2.35, but I'm pretty sure not more than this.
Duties included prepping the food during the first couple
of hours (when hardly anyone came in), such as thawing
out new batches of flounder, shelling many pounds of shrimp
each week, mixing up a huge bucket full of home-made hush
puppy batter as needed, etc., as well as sweeping the dining
room, keeping the back cooking area cleaned up, washing
dishes (and post, and pans, ...), driving yesterday's trash
to a nearby private landfill, and -- the easiest part of
the job once you learn how to do it -- cooking the various
seafood and steak dinners. Throughout this period of time
I never really got the grease out of my hair (all that deep
fat frying), and my hands and hair finally stopped smelling
of onions and other things a few weeks after I began college
(as an undergraduate, and not as a "special student").

To illustrate how college costs have risen, this was almost
enough to fully pay for the many math and physics courses I
took at a nearby university beginning May of my Junior year.
I was also given a job as a paper grader at the university
I was taking classes at (mainly calculus 1 and calculus 2),
which was very very easy money by comparison, and the two
jobs together pretty much took care of tuition (which was
paid for by a co-signed loan my mother took out and which
I used the money from the jobs to pay back during my Senior
year of HS), although I had no spending money to speak of
left over.

I tutored some as an undergraduate, but not much, since
it seemed most people just asked someone "down the hall"
in their dorm for help (which was often me, during the
two years I lived in a dorm). My rate was $3 an hour,
which was a little on the low side, but certainly not
the lowest. I think the range I recall from the bulletin
board signs were from around $2.50 to (maybe) $5.00 an
hour, this being from 1977 to 1981. I continued charging
$3.00 an hour and, in Summer 1982, I had a pretty solid
business going (I was at another university, having just
gotten my degree after my 5th undergraduate year at the
time), but someone told me I should begin charging $5.00
an hour because by offering $3.00 an hour it looked to
those seeing my tutoring advertisement (handwritten, on
various math department bulletin boards) that I wasn't
all that good. So I raised my fee to $5.00 an hour, and
didn't notice much drop in business (but not much more
either, but of course I made much more money since I was
charging so much more).

I don't think I did much tutoring after Summer 1982, except
a few high school students whose parents got my name from
calling the local university's math department ("the" being
one of the several universities I was a graduate student at
from Fall 1982 until Summer 1993, minus about an 18 month
period when I wasn't in school), and I'm pretty sure throughout
this period I charged $5.00 an hour. I don't think I tutored
any (or hardly any) college students from 1982 to Fall 2008,
because I was either a graduate student (busy with my own
students) or a faculty member (busy with my own students,
and it would likely be very much frowned on, if it was not
actually disallowed) but, since leaving academics in Summer
2005, I began thinking of tutoring local students (for much
needed spare money and because I missed helping people in
math (although my extensive posting in the ap-caclulus group
since 2005 has helped a lot in this regard)), which I posted
about in here (first 2 URLs below), and then sometimes
mentioned in here after I began tutoring (last 3 URLs below).
By the way, the student I mentioned in the Feb. 25 post
below is now a HS Senior and is taking linear algebra at
the local university (and I'm still "helping him" one
weeknight each week). Last night (5:30 to 6:30, about
the only time I tutor because of work and because I go
to bed very early) I worked with someone taking a
business calculus class (actually a pretty good student)
and tonight I'm seeing two students in a diff. eq. class.

Anyway, I charge $20 an hour and from what I've been told,
I'm not all that out of line from others in this area,
at least in tutoring college undergraduates. I wouldn't
be surprised, however, if some high school students in
the area are paying (more accurately, their parents are
paying) much more, maybe up to $40 to $50 an hour, but
I haven't tried very hard to find out. However, I have
been told by several undergraduates that "almost no one"
pays more than $30 an hour for math tutoring, probably
(I would suppose) because there are so many mathy types
per capita around here.

27 October 2005
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=4049364

17 April 2008
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=6182754

4 August 2008
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=6322746

25 February 2010
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=6993713

8 March 2010
http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7005528

Dave L. Renfro


Date Subject Author
9/28/10
Read Why More Students Rely on Tutors
GS Chandy
9/28/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
GS Chandy
9/28/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Bishop, Wayne
9/29/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Haim
9/29/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
GS Chandy
10/2/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Bishop, Wayne
9/29/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
GS Chandy
10/2/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Bishop, Wayne
9/30/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Richard Strausz
9/30/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Haim
10/2/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Bishop, Wayne
9/30/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Haim
9/30/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
GS Chandy
10/1/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Haim
10/1/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Robert Hansen
10/5/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
GS Chandy
10/1/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Haim
10/1/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Jonathan Groves
10/3/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
GS Chandy
10/4/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Haim
10/5/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Jonathan Groves
10/4/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Haim
10/5/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
GS Chandy
10/5/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Joel
10/5/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Joe Niederberger
10/5/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Mark Ge
10/5/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Greg Goodknight
10/5/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Kelly Stacy
10/5/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Dave L. Renfro
10/5/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Dave L. Renfro
10/5/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Robert Hansen
10/7/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Haim
10/9/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
GS Chandy
10/7/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Dave L. Renfro
10/7/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Robert Hansen
10/7/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Dave L. Renfro
10/8/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Jonathan Groves
10/10/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Haim
10/11/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
Shimon Zimbovsky
10/16/10
Read Re: Why More Students Rely on Tutors
GS Chandy

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