Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Democratizing Tutoring

Part of what we're trying to do at CK (College Knowledge) is to democratize tutoring. We were inspired by the idea of "democratizing something" after reading about Henry Ford and his Model T. His goal was to make cars available to "any man earning a decent wage" and we felt the same could be done for tutoring.

So our first thought was "why is tutoring so expensive?" We were surprised that the high cost of tutoring didn't arise from tutoring companies paying their tutors more; in many cases, the larger tutoring companies charge exorbitant amounts and pay their tutors anywhere between only 15-25% of the total cost charged to clients. From the beginning, we decided to challenge them by accepting lower profit margins as a company that would result in fairer, higher wages for our wonderful tutors - we pay 50% or more of the final tutoring bill to our tutors.

Another thing we noticed is that the tutoring companies in Atlanta were all charging $50 an hour and up. Why was no one offering a lower price? It seemed like the companies were quietly in agreement that none of them would charge less than $50 an hour in Atlanta. We decided, before even officially starting the company, that we would charge 40% less and so came about our decision to charge $30 an hour.

Even though we save our clients 40% or more on their tutoring costs, our current clients can all tell you that they're very satisfied with CK tutors and that we have not sacrificed quality. Every client we've had so far has signed up for follow-up tutoring sessions; this is further evidence that our handpicked tutors are not only top-notch students but also very good at tutoring and mentoring. Our goal going forward is to keep adding satisfied clients and keep our operations as efficient as possible to pass on huge savings to our customers; we face many choices going forward but know that we will continue to prioritize the right things and won't seek growth just for growth's sake. We welcome any suggestions along the way to continue making CK a success.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I’ve come across a number of online tutoring websites (e.g. tutor.com, homeworkhelp.com, tutoreasy.com, www.schooltrainer.com, etc.). Has anyone prepared a comparison of the various companies (pricing, quality, etc.)?

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