The Hidden Costs of Cheap Tuition

As many of my regular readers will know, the discussion around cost and what is perceived as expensive, is something that features quite regularly. One of the reasons for that is that when it comes to private tuition, like many other things in life, you really do get what you pay for.

Yes, I know what you may me thinking. Well, I would say that wouldn’t I? You’d be right, and for very good reasons, which I’ll come on to.

The perception of cost is purely in the eye of the beholder and I’m never going to tell people what they should be thinking, or to tell them what is and isn’t expensive.

I would, however, like to share with you an experience that occurs every year, without fail. And I really do mean every single year.

A parent will come to me, through recommendation, referral, or maybe via my website, which is rich in testimonials. We’ll have a detailed discussion around their child’s situation, individual needs and aims, and how I can help.

They’ll then decide I’m too expensive and go to a cheaper tutor they’ve found online or through Facebook etc. Often, the selected tutor will be part-time, tutoring for additional income, be a well-educated resting actor, or simply be inexperienced.

If one compares this to a full-time professional tutor with an outstanding track record of helping students achieve success, one begins to see why there may be a pricing disparity, which is usually reflected in results.

Sometime later, having regretted their initial choice, they return to find Maths & Science Tuition (MST) fully booked with a waiting list. What does this mean for the poor student?

It means they have either wait for a slot to come free due or take a slot which nobody else wants.

Much more important than this though, is that shopping around for and engaging a cheaper tutor, has cost valuable time, which we can’t get back. In this spent time, the student has put in additional effort and still come up short.

In addition, the perceived cost-saving has in fact been a waste of money.

For me, there is an all- important aspect to this: The student’s confidence is shattered.

Who would want that for their child? Or any child? Nobody would do this deliberately, I’m sure. And as I’ve said, it happens every year, albeit with the best of intentions.

As an aside, you may also be surprised to know that many children carry enormous burdens of guilt for failed tuition. They are acutely aware of costs and sacrifice, the effort to add yet another extracurricular activity they need to be taken to, as well as the knock-on effect for the rest of the family.

So, what’s the point of this article?

Simply that when comparing services and the cost of private tuition, consider the desired outcome first and foremost. There’s a saying, ‘buy cheap, buy twice’, which at first glance comes across as incredibly glib.

However, I can’t tell you how many times it turns out to be true. Therefore, please bear this in mind when weighing up your options. For a great many families, investing in private tuition is a sacrifice felt by the whole family, therefore it’s vital to get your decision right first time.

MST will be offering a broader range of tuition services in the new academic year. Please feel free to contact me for details.