Why So Many Tutors?

Despite the financial climate, one type of business is booming.

Even in today’s rough economy, we’ve noticed a proliferation of services designed to keep your budding scholars on the college track: tutoring services, SAT prep, college counselors—they seem to be popping up all over the county. What gives?

“Tutoring is so popular now because the college-admission process is so unbelievably competitive,” says Anthony Green, an ex-Westchester resident and president of the tutoring service My Ivy Leaguer. “More kids are applying to college today than ever.”

And, while parents have been cutting back on restaurant splurges and shopping binges in The Westchester, tutoring seems to be a luxury few are willing to give up. “We’re still growing pretty rapidly,” Green says. And, while the demand for tutors has increased, the bad economy also has increased supply: teachers are more interested than ever in earning a few extra bucks on the side. “I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries on how to become one of our tutors,” says Nicole DiScala, founder of the Westchester-based Tutor Finder USA.

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Here are just a few of the tutoring services that have opened in Westchester within the past year and a half:

EleMental Learning
(203) 604-9019
EleMental offers private in-home tutoring to single students or small groups by certified teachers. There is no rigid study plan—tutoring is offered in all subject areas as well as for standardized tests. The curriculum is determined by the students, parents, and teachers. Cost: $50 to $60 an hour.

My Ivy Leaguer
(877) 708-8867
This tutoring service is staffed by brainiacs—Ivy League grads who have scored in the 99th percentile on the standardized tests on the subjects they coach. The tutors prepare kids with their subjects and for the SAT, ACT, and other standardized tests. Cost: $120-$140 an hour, including transportation.

Tutor Finder USA
This isn’t a tutoring service so much as it is a Match.com for tutors. Parents and students register to the site for free (tutors pay an annual fee to be listed) and browse profiles of prospective tutors based on price, grade level, and subject, as well as read reviews posted by others who’ve used those tutors. Cost: Varies by tutor.

(800) 888-0692
Wilson’s is an online SAT prep service. (The ACT site is coming soon.) Each weekday, Chappaqua-based teacher Laura Wilson posts six SAT questions. Students get automatic feedback and score reports to identify strengths and weaknesses. Wilson also doles out additional homework assignments (such as the dreaded practice essay) and offers extra worksheets, video lessons, vocabulary words, and test-taking tips. Cost: $139 for three months.

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