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How Much Should a SAT Tutoring Session Cost? 5 Factors to Help You Determine Your Rate

How Much Should a SAT Tutoring Session Cost? 5 Factors to Help You Determine Your Rate

Maximize your SAT tutoring income. Explore factors influencing rates, pricing strategies, and options for SAT tutors in this comprehensive guide.


College entrance exams are a significant right of passage for young adults as they prepare to head to college. Because of the importance of an SAT score in determining college acceptance and scholarship opportunities, SAT prep is a lucrative niche for tutors and academic coaches to get in on.

But how do you determine what to charge for SAT tutoring services?

Several factors influence how much a tutor can charge for SAT prep and tutoring services for college-bound students. This article discusses some critical factors that influence SAT tutoring rates, the different tutoring options, associated costs, and tips to help SAT tutors determine the fairest rate for their tutoring service. These rates can be applied to ACT prep offerings as well.

I. Understanding the Factors that Influence SAT Tutoring Rates

As a tutor, it is up to you to determine your rates and ensure they are fair for you and your tutoring clients. To do this effectively, you will need to understand the factors that affect tutoring rates and how they impact your pricing. While you can never guarantee a perfect SAT score for your clients, your level of expertise and other factors can be leveraged to determine a price your clients are comfortable paying. 

The key factors that determine SAT tutoring rates are as follows:

  • Level of Experience

Your experience level may reflect your years as a tutor, your level of education, the universities you attended, your SAT and ACT scores, and any tutoring certifications earned outside of your degree. These details provide insight into your value as an instructor and what clients might expect from you as a tutor.

  • Location

Your location plays a role in how much you will charge as a tutor. Your proximity to known universities, the cost of living, and the socio-economic factors associated with your clientele all impact the hourly rate you may charge as a tutor. 

  • Length of tutoring sessions

While you may charge per session, remember to account for the time you spend to prep for tutoring sessions and provide communication to your clients.  

  • Type of tutoring sessions offered

You can provide online tutoring, group tutoring, or private in-person tutoring. You will charge accordingly depending on the tutoring service you offer. You may also provide a combination of these to accommodate different budgets. 

The average price for an SAT tutor is $70 per hour and ranges between $40 to $100+ hourly, depending on the abovementioned factors. 

II.  SAT Tutoring Options and Their Cost

SAT preparation can be supported in a variety of settings. Depending on your clients' needs, you can offer different priced options and still hit your target hourly rate. Let's break down the different SAT tutoring options and their cost.

Private tutoring will cost the most for individual clients because they receive one-on-one SAT prep support. The time a tutor will spend to prep sessions, schedule and travel to sessions, and communicate about progress will be paid for by a single client. Clients who want this individualized focus are willing to pay more for this type of tutoring service. 

Group tutoring allows more than one client to receive tutoring services at a time. This is more economical for clients on a budget who still want high-quality support from a subject expert. You will still charge the necessary amount to cover your services, but clients can split the cost, making sessions more affordable while still hitting your hourly rate.

Online tutoring typically costs less than private in-person tutoring because you do not need to cover the cost of traveling to clients. As an online tutor, you also have more flexibility to reach potential clients who live farther away. Some tutoring agencies hire tutors and cut out the need to market your tutoring business and find new clients. 

A. Price for Private SAT Tutoring

If you have extensive experience in college test prep and your Master's or Doctorate in a related field, you can expect to charge between $100-$150+ per hour for private tutoring sessions. This is a top-tier rate for clients who want individualized support in achieving a higher SAT score. 

If you have less experience and still want to provide private SAT tutoring, basic pricing can run between $30-$50 per hour. This may be an excellent place to start, and you can raise your prices as you gain experience and results to back you up. 

B. Price for Group SAT Tutoring

Group tutoring offers clients an option to split the price for a tutor. If you provide a group option, you can still aim for the same hourly rate as a private tutor and split it evenly between clients. Make it clear that these are your rates for group tutoring sessions and will not have the same level of one-on-one support as private sessions, but they are still a great option to brush up on skills and ask questions.

C. Price for Online SAT Tutoring

Online tutoring can range from self-employed tutors who offer their own services and plans to tutoring agencies that hire tutors and pair them with clients. If you are looking for a tutor job that finds new clients for you, many agencies, like Varsity Tutor, will hire you and do that for you. Just know that the rates are typically lower than you may charge when finding your own clients. It all depends on what you are comfortable with.

An online tutor who manages their clients independently could charge between $50-$100+ per hour depending on other factors like experience and location. A tutor working through an agency may get between $20-$100 per hour depending on the same factors and the agency's policies. 

Because of the efficiency and convenience of online tutoring, it is possible to earn as much as a private offline tutor. You just have to know your market and how to use your time effectively. 

III. How Much Do SAT Tutors Typically Cost?

As you can see, there is a wide range of rates for SAT tutors. While $70 per hour is the average these days, you may fall within one of the outliers depending on your region. 

Affluent areas may be willing to pay a steeper price for a private tutor because of the reality of supply and demand. That doesn't mean a highly qualified tutor in one region does more than a highly skilled tutor in another region; it just means the clients in that area and niche compete to receive the service. 

IV. Tips on Determining the Right Price For SAT Tutoring

Whether you have tutored for one or twenty years, your rates come down to the value you provide compared to the amount clients are willing to pay for your service. If you prefer to avoid taking a tutor job with an agency, there are a few more tips to help you determine your rate.

  • Do your math and figure out what your monthly living expenses are. Determine the number of hours you want to work and calculate how much you need to earn hourly to meet your monthly expenses. 
  • Conduct research to determine what other tutors are charging. Look at their experience, location, types of services, and any results data they provide. Use your research as a guide so you don't feel like you are just throwing spaghetti at the wall.
  • Write a list of everything you bring to the table so you understand your value before setting your rate.
  • When you are ready to raise your rates, start establishing new rates for incoming clients. Increase rates for current clients based on factors like inflation and the amount of time they have been working with you (if you keep the same rate for five years, you make less each year due to the increased cost of living).

Running a Successful Online Tutoring Business Takes Time

From managing your client relationships to a long list of administrative tasks, a lot goes into running an online business. The right CRM program will help you streamline your tasks so you can focus on the most critical task, helping students achieve their goals.

Try Practice for free and get the most out of your tutoring business.

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