What is Varsity Tutors? Varsity Tutors is an American-based tutoring service based in St. Louis MO that serves only students in the U.S. The company with St. Louis headquarters was founded in 2007 and is one of the older, more established tutoring services.
Originally only an in-home tutoring service was provided in the St. Louis metropolitan area, but it now maintains a skeleton office in many major cities in the U.S. Now that it is also on the web, it has expanded its services to online tutoring as well, in order to widen its customer base.
Is Varsity Tutors legit, though? This is what we wanted to know. After seeing multiple people bringing up this website, we thought it was important to write a review. This Varsitytutors.com review is the result of our thorough study of the company’s website, Varsitytutor customer reviews that we found on the web, on-site Varsity Tutors testimonials, and our own contact with the company. In all we were looking for:
Range of tutoring services
Educational and other qualifications of tutors and how they are assigned to students
Reliable and trusted appointment keeping on the part of tutors, based upon customer reviews that we found out on the web or that were submitted to us
Customer satisfaction with the services they have received
A customer service department that is responsive
Pricing and any discounts or other benefits
The following is a summary of what we found. We will let you know whether the company is a scam or not.
SERVICES AND FEATURES AVAILABLE
How does Varsity Tutors work? VarsityTutors has evolved over the years and, given newer technology, now offers all the following services:
In-home tutoring in most major cities in the U.S. It has local offices, and students or parents can contact the local office to arrange tutoring services. These services are in-home, face-to-face, or in the form of “meet-ups” at neutral locations.
Online tutoring, via video conferencing software, available on any device. Again, this is “face-to-face.” There is a toll-free number on the website for students or parents to arrange for the services, no matter where they may reside geographically.
Test prep for college-bound students (SAT, ACT) and for students applying to graduate programs (LSAT, GRE, SSAT, Millers Analogy, etc.).
Assistance with college and graduate school admissions essays and personal statements
24/7 “emergency” help, if a student needs immediate help with any type of assignment.
Some free resources on the Varsity Tutors website, such as flashcards and practice tests.
The process is simple. Once a student or parent contacts the company, a suitable tutor is assigned, and the student works directly with that tutor for a designated number of sessions or hours. Payment is made to the company, which then takes a commission and makes payment to the tutor.
One good feature of this company is that it requires tutors to summarize exactly what they did during each session – they will not be paid until this is done, and it is a good quality control measure. This helps to promote the service as reliable and trusted.
To find the best tutors, a customer will have to offer their name, as well as address-related information such as the ZIP code, and also a telephone number.
Now, there seems to be a little problem regarding who can get the tutoring service and who cannot. It is all based on the locations. People who want to obtain some tutoring services from the company have to be in a convenient location where it is possible to meet up with the tutor. Otherwise, it would be hard to maintain tutoring lessons.
Varsity Tutors have some top locations where their services are available, and these include Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis. So, whether you’re from NYC or any of the other locations, you can get the services.
Therefore, if you are looking for instant tutoring, then you will have to contact them, but not before checking if they offer tutoring in your area.
PRICING SYSTEM AND DISCOUNTS
So, how much does Varsity Tutors cost? Varsitytutors prices are not published on the site. Instead, a student or parent must request the type of tutoring needed, and prices will then be emailed to them. When we placed a request, at the high school level, we were quoted $30 per hour. Obviously, we did not follow through on that request, but at least it gave us an idea of pricing. There are no discounts or Varsity Tutors promo codes offered. However, it would be nice to have an idea about taxes.
For the 24/7 emergency services, another pricing applies.
Payment can be made via any major bank card or PayPal. Customers can feel safe that their financial information is secured through the payment processing system in place.
There do not appear to be issues with security. From all the Varsitytutors reviews we have read, no one raised the issue of either personal or financial information being compromised.
WRITER EXPERTISE AND DELIVERY
These are rather moot points, given that tutors do not actually provide written products to their students, and given that there are no deliveries made, this factor is not important.
As far as the quality of tutors is concerned, the company does publicize profiles of their tutors, and they range from college students (who obviously tutor elementary through high school students) to individuals with graduate degrees. One disappointing item here: the company advertises that its tutors come from such schools as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. When we reviewed tutor profiles, we could not find one from those institutions. This exaggeration reduces credibility and is not necessary.
We also checked the reviews given by people who worked with Varsity Tutors, and while a lot of them are happy with the job, not all of them have praise words for the website. Based on Glassdoor reviews, it turns out that some didn’t get the treatment they deserved for the work they put in, and they do not recommend Varsity Tutors as a job. This might also explain why some tutors do a bad job – they are not happy with the treatment they receive, and thus they are not dedicated to their tutoring. Complaints are very often related to the salary and the hourly rate. Even on Reddit, we were able to find complaints from people who worked for the company.
What matters is how customers feel about the tutoring services they receive. There is lots of customer feedback on VarsityTutors.com out on the web. And it is mixed. It looks like when there is a great match between tutor and student, everyone is happy. If the match is poor, and the student and tutor do not “click,” then feedback is not so great.
The reviews Yelp page for Varsity Tutors, for example, has a lot of positive reviews, and full ratings are dominating. However, 1-star reviews are also in a great percentage.
There is a method in place to request a different tutor if the initial one is not a good “match.” This takes a while to accomplish, but the customer service department is responsive to such requests.
If an emergency should occur with the assigned tutor, the company does assign a different tutor pretty quickly.
We did not find any additional benefits to speak of. There are no discounts, even for loyal customers. We couldn’t even find a proper FAQ page. The one possible benefit is the few free resources that are offered on the site.
That being said, people can check out different things such as flashcards, GRE math test, and GRE practice test preparation.
We also discovered that people are able to get a refund in certain situations. In order to do so, they will have to contact the customer service, and the representative will check whether the customer is eligible for a refund. If the customer can get a refund, then the customer can get the full purchase price refunded for the most recent Eligible Test 1:1 Tutoring package on the Group Course purchase. If you want to contact them for a refund, then there is a phone number available where you can call them, and your refund Varsity Tutors process can start.
We have mixed feelings about this company. VarsityTutors reviews on the web are mixed. We do not like the fact that they exaggerate the credentials of their tutors. We do like that fact, though, that every session must be summarized so that tutors are held accountable for what they have accomplished with their students. Furthermore, we also like that people can delete their accounts if Varsity Tutors is not what they want. As we completed our Varsity Tutors review, our feelings were a bit mixed too. Overall, our Varsitytutors.com rating is 3.5 on our 5-point scale. Students will get the services they sign up for.