I often receive the question from the tutor:
How much Tuition Fee to charge?
This question is not only asked by a new teacher joining profession but even by an experienced educator. I am as puzzled as you are.
Then the question comes,
Who decides Tuition Fee?
Students, parents, teachers, or is there any government regulations. It’s the combination of all forces decide tuition fee. I will be explaining in detail in this piece.
Every tutor wants to charge more sure neither, nor they are paid less. Everyone wants fair pay. Don’t you? Similarly, every student or parent wants to have one of the best tutors at the best possible tuition fee.
In this article, I will try a different angle to explore, how tuition fees should be decided? If you are looking for an accurate answer that in Andheri west Physics tuition will be Rs 40000 yearly. You will be disappointed, as I am not the right judge, but you are yourself.
How to decide the Tuition Fee?
Deciding the right tuition fee is a debatable topic, and we at MyTrustedTutor.com cannot tell you or dictate the tuition fee. It’s entirely between students and teachers to decide. You are working in this private tuition market for the last couple of years, and you know what tuition fee to charge. But, newcomers face difficulty in providing the right tuition fee.
Who ultimately decides the price??
There is not an honest answer. In economics, we call it Market Forces/ Competition. We will love to hear the comment from your side.
Do you (Tutors) influence the Tuition Fee or Parents/Students change the Tuition Fee? Just tell me, Who dictates the price of Apple Phone? (it’s costly, but still, people love it).
Do you have the quality that parents are willing to pay High Tuition Fee? Just think about it and share your insights.
What Price to Quote??
It’s an interesting question if I quote Tuition Fee of Rs 4,000/ month- Students will react price is too high and will say- “I will think and tell you” (here’s the secret, they will never call you Back);
or it may happen- Students find the price is too low- “Will he/she be able to deliver the quality” or they will say “Would like to start.”
In this case, the teacher will discover at the later stage, that I have quoted too little, and it’s becoming painful to meet students’ expectations”. Confused!!! We are also confused. Have you ever faced these situations?? Share with us!
We may not be right, but over the years, what we have observed and experienced, we are merely sharing our thoughts.
Just do a few of the homework, and I guess, most of the time, you will be right:-
- Ask Friends, Family members, neighbors how much fee they are paying or willing to pay for this kind of tuition??
- How much effort, i.e., time and resources, you will be putting in for this assignment??
- What is the Opportunity Cost? That is if you are not taking this tuition assignment, what you would have done in this spare time.
I guess, if you have answered these questions, you will probably get the answer, What Price to Quote?? (We cannot tell you!!!!)
We would like to hear from your side, about your perspectives, experiences and we are confident that each teacher must have faced these questions; and even experienced and veterans teachers, still face this question with every new tuition?? Aren’t you?
I am here to discuss what all factors should be taken into consideration before tuition rates are decided:
- Subjects and Grades of learning assignment
- Locations and Area of Tuition
- Course Level – Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Level
- Place of Tuition Tutors place or students place or online
- Individual or Group Tuition
- Qualifications of Tutor
- Experience of Tutor
- Availability of Tutor
- The urgency of Tuition Require
- Duration of Tuition Requirements
- Market Price of Tuition Fee
You must be bewildered reading several factors stated above. Yes, the tuition fee is dependent on a lot many factors. Knowingly or unknowingly following factors have already been considered while deciding Tuition Fee, and this sets the market price of Tuition Fee.
You as a Tutor, don’t want to charge less fee, or else you will not be taken seriously by Students or Parents. And student’s parents will doubt your ability. Underpricing is counterproductive in this industry. At the same time, you should be able to cover all your expenses and also earn a reasonable amount of time compared to other professions. You should not be charging less than your ability
Private tuition is not only taken by teachers from teaching communities but from all sorts of professionals, ranging from school college teachers to supplement their income or knowledge. Corporate professionals are looking for extra income or supplement knowledge or just for passion or interest. Freelance professionals like musicians or dancers to complement their income or pass knowledge to the budding artist. So, expectations and commitments for different professionals will be different, so the tuition rates.
Teaching higher grade or highly specialized courses requires an expert level of skills, so it commands a higher rate. Let’s go by each point in detail
Subjects and Grades of learning assignment
You are already aware, but even though it is essential to know. Different boards have different fee structures. In Mumbai, there are predominantly four boards i.e., CBSE, ICSE, I.Sc, ib/IGCSE and Maharashtra board (or state board or HSC or SSC). Generally, the tuition fee of the ib IGCSE board is high, then comes ICSE/CBSE board and the last state board. There are a couple of reasons for the same.
Parents who are teaching in the international board are well off or are from the high-income background. It doesn’t necessitate that parents are from the high-income origin so that they will pay high. They can afford to pay but may not be willing to pay. Course content is vast and different compared to CBSE, ICSE, or state board, and few teachers have got experience and caliber to teach to students of that level. You should also be aware that if parents are paying more, they expect the teacher to be systematic, regular n consistent.
Further, parents take more time in finding a tutor and may meet five to ten tutors, before finalizing one. Though in Ib board, you can command high fees compared to other boards, but it comes with additional responsibilities. So, be careful if you are venturing to this board. At times, it will become frustrating, as parents will take more time in deciding tutors.
CBSE and ICSE board has started gaining ground in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and thane region. There are close to 100 ICSE board schools, and 200 CBSE board schools are in Mumbai. Since there is a large number of students studying in this board, so there is a good chance of taking private tuition of CBSE and ICSE board. Mainly middle income and higher income group parents teach their children to CBSE and ICSE board. These parents are more focussed and value education more compared to any other boards. Teachers are paid fairly and just.
State Board parents also go for private tuition. They generally don’t pay much. Parents may not be financially well off to afford private schooling. Education has become so expensive that it eats away almost 30 to 50% of earning. State board students are in abundance, and getting private tuition will not be difficult.
Standard: There is no secret that in lower standards, tuition fees will be less, and in higher standards, it will be high. I don’t think; I need to discuss it in detail. It is advisable that teachers who are graduate or -postgraduate or Ph.D. or doctorate, should teach higher standard students i.e., standard 8,9,10,11 and 12 or for a professional course like IIT JEE, PMT or CA, CS, CMA courses.
Subjects: it’s also an open secret that subjects from Science, Maths group are high in demand followed by English. Each subjects require different skill sets. Parents prefer to have low priority for subjects of Hindi, Marathi, History or Geography. But still, parents look for a tutor.
Tuition Fee of College and professional courses like IIT-JEE, CAT Entrance, TOEFL and IELTS is higher than Tuition Fee of Primary Grade (Standard I to Standard V). This is no brainer.
Similarly, subjects like Physics, Mathematics Tuition Fee commands a higher rate than Tuition Fee of History and Hindi. So, ultimately tuition fee is dependent on the level of difficulty of subjects and scarcity of teachers at the same time. Good Physics teacher is difficult to find, or good trainers for TOELF and IELTS are challenging to get, but it is easier to find teachers for school subjects and are available in good numbers.
Locations and Area of Tuition
All sites are not equal in terms of getting the same amount of tuition fee. Some localities are affluent and can afford higher tuition fee as people from more upper-income strata lives there. And there are areas where people cannot afford to pay a higher tuition fee. Like in Mumbai, you can get higher tuition fees at South Mumbai, Powai, Andheri or Bandra but you may not get the same tuition fee at Kalyan, Virar or Mira Road.
Mumbai is a famous city, where locality helps you in knowing the income level and class of the population. I was also astonished by this fact. Income starts decreasing from South Mumbai to North Mumbai. There are few pockets even which are considered to be prosperous than others. I.e., Powai in central suburb, etc. further, whether the student is located close to the station. What are the means of reaching the student? All these become important, as it will add up in the cost of tuition. If it is located close to the tutor place, you will charge less. And if you have to bus or auto, the fee will be high. It’s also important to know how much time it will take to reach the destination. If it is a crowded area like Andheri Lokhandwala, fees will be high, as for 1-hour tuition, you will spend two hours traveling.
Socio-economic group: when it comes to tuition. Income level of parents matter a lot and from which background
Further, in the same location, all areas don’t command the same price. Like in Chembur, it’s easy to get higher tuition fees at BPCL or HPCL Colony than in Chembur near the station. As within locations, some areas are difficult to reach and takes more time. So, to compensate for traveling time, tuition fee rates get increased.
Course Level – Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Level
Rates for the same subjects of topics can also differ. For the CA course, rates for the tuition fee for CPT (Common Proficiency Test) will be lower than studying for CA Final that’s advance level of class. Similarly, teachers teaching Physics for Standard XI and XII tuition fees will be lower compared to teachers preparing students for advance level of IIT-JEE study. The reason being that a large number of teachers can teach the Beginner level of education, but only a small group of teachers can do a specialized level of knowledge or teaching delivery. So, you decide whether you want to be mediocre teachers and earn an average income or become a master with an expert level of skills and charge a higher tuition fee.
Place of Tuition Tutors place or students place or online
This is a no-brainer. If you go to students’ homes for taking tuition fees, your charge will be higher because you will earn extra costs in terms of commuting and spare time of traveling. To compensate, you will charge a higher tuition fee. For Online tuition, you can take at your comfortable time so that tuition fees can be lower compared to teaching face-to-face. But, this is not the case every time, as online, your market will open for the broader student community.
Individual or Group Tuition
Group Tuition is Win-Win for both students and teachers. As a student, you get the same level of knowledge at the lower price or discounted price. And for a teacher, you earn a higher tuition fee at a group level for putting the relatively same amount of effort and time. Further, the student also develops the level of competition with another fellow student.
Qualifications of Tutor
Experienced and highly qualified teachers are indeed paid more than tutors who have got a little experience. Generally, tutors who are postgraduate with P.HD or doctorate or MPhil are preferred over graduate teachers. Similarly, teachers with 10+ years of experience will be preferred over teachers who have got less than 1 or 2 years of experience. So, it’s no secret that a fresher cannot compare tuition fees with veteran teachers. Let’s take one case:
A student is looking for a tutor for CA IPCC. Two teachers have shown interest. A tutor who is CA and CMA qualified with 15 years of experience in teaching and charging Rs 500 per session.
The second teacher has done CA inter with three years of experience and charging the same.
I know, you know the answer, the first teacher will be preferred. So, it is always advisable to know what other teachers are charging for similar qualifications.
Research scholars or teachers who are qualified like CA, CS, CMA/ICWA, and teaching students will command higher prices while teaching professional courses of CA, CS, and CMA or Commerce students. Teachers who are B.Tech, M.Tech, and p.hD will control a higher rate than teachers who are just commerce or science graduates. So, the qualifications of teachers do matter in deciding tuition fees.
Experience of Teacher
In teaching or any profession, people look for an experienced person. And with the experience price of Tuition Fee gets increased. Teachers with 20 years of experience in teaching will get a higher rate than teachers who have just started teaching.
You must be wondering that you are not so qualified and have got little teaching experience. Your chance of private tuition is slim. The beauty of teaching is that a fresher with just a graduate can earn as much as a teacher with a doctorate and 15 years experience. It’s no degree, but how you teach students, how you make concepts clarity in a straightforward and free-flowing manner. Yes, on the outskirts, your chance is very few, but if you win the heart of students or parents, you can also command fair tuition fees.
You may be an excellent tutor and one of the best-experienced teachers in teaching chemical equations or advance accounts, but if your prospective students don’t know. It will not help in fetching tuition fees higher than the market rate. The question comes, how you can build high referral or how students discover you. It’s very much right that an experienced tutor with top networking skills don’t require services of mytrustedtutor.com because these teachers slot are already overbooked. They have not even advertised or have never spent a single penny. From where they get tuitions. They arrive from their referral network, their students. Their work, their teaching style does their marketing. Parents look for these high caliber teachers first. They also charge more senior than the average tuition fee you charge, but still, their time schedules are booked, even for the next academic year.
Can you build the same? Yes, you can, and it’s not hard to do so. You give one of the best performance for any tuition assignment. Be in teaching, subjects in a distinct manner. Parents who will see a dramatic improvement in the result of their child will not leave you. But may continue for several academic years. They will talk in their social circle, in their neighborhood, at the birthday party, in office. Even these parents will vouch for you in social media. You can ask for feedback and can ask them to share in social media.
I have seen the difficulty that many of you will not ask for feedback. Since it’s demeaning for few or it hurts self-respect. Don’t worry, I understand. Now, you can invite feedback from past students or parents from our platform. And I am sure; if you have done an excellent job in the past, they will write well about you.
Availability of Teachers
Few teachers are always occupied due to their superior skills in teaching and are not available. These teachers book their teaching schedule well in advance and so their tuition fee is higher, as they are not available. To get tuition fee requests from these teachers will command a higher price.
There could be several objectives for you to be in teaching. You love teaching Andy you do it for passion, so the fee may not be in top priority. You want to bring social change and feel a sense of satisfaction, so you may not give tuition fees any priority. You want to utilize your free time doing something for fulfilling your hidden desire. All these teachers fall into the category of freelancing. For them, teaching is not Bread and Butter; they have other means of survival and livelihood. So, you cannot compete with these freelancers in terms of the tuition fee.
For you, teaching is survival. You have to utilize your precious twenty-four judiciously. You have to make the most out of it. You cannot afford to charge Rs 1000 per hour and spend three hours in traveling. It’s wise to cost Rs 400 per hour and spend less than 30 minutes ongoing.
The urgency of Tuition Requirement
If the requirement is immediate, tuition fee will be high.