Articles, Starting a Business

How to Start a Tutoring Business in College

Written By: Adam Marshall
Reviewed by: Mike Reyes
Last Updated September 18, 2021

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a college student looking to start a tutoring business

Tutoring is a fantastic way to earn extra money while in college. 

And best of all, you don’t actually have to be an expert or some kind of business guru to get this side-hustle started. 

You’re familiar with a few different classes, have taken and passed them, and have gotten good grades in the process. In this case, you’re already highly qualified to help other students who are now treading where you have already walked. 

This means that you can bring a ton of value to students who are currently trying to get good grades in classes you already know a lot about.

Which is the perfect framework for a side hustle tutoring business. 

The Advantages of Starting Your Own Tutoring Business

There are many advantages to starting your own tutoring business, some of which include:

  • The ability to make a lucrative side income
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Low startup costs

Plus, if you already know how to get excellent grades, you already have the skills necessary to coach others. 

So leveraging those skills for profit makes a lot of business sense. 

But how do you get started? And how do you make it profitable?

Here’s exactly what you need to get started and crush it. 

1. Decide What You’re Going To Specialize In

First off, starting a tutoring business will require you to choose what you’re going to specialize in. 

Some of the most popular college tests to tutor for are entrance exams, like the ACT. These exams are crucial, and students’ parents will pay quite a bit to help their children get into better schools. 

You can also obviously tutor students in a range of other topics and classes. 

But most importantly, you want to start by tutoring students in classes or tests that you know well and are familiar with. 

2. Set Your Fee

For the most part, tutoring fees for college students tend to range from $70 per hour to $150 per hour. 

As a general rule, you’ll probably want to start at a lower price to get your foot in the door. 

Then, over time, gradually increase your rates as your skills prove adequate and as you make a name for yourself on campus. 

3. Use Word-of-Mouth to Spread the Word at First

At first, you’ll want to enlist the help of your family, friends, classmates, and even teachers to inform students of your business. 

If you’re known to get really good grades, you may be able to get your teachers on board to refer students who are struggling.

This is a great way to get started. 

4. Print Out Some Business Cards

Once you get referrals, experience, and results, consider printing out business cards to pass out. 

Pass these out whenever you meet new people at school. And always make sure that your existing tutoring students have plenty of them on hand to give to their friends. 

Where to Print Awesome Business Cards

If you aren’t sure about where to print your business cards or marketing materials, consider checking out Vistaprint

They let you design your cards right on the site. It’s super easy to customize and personalize your card before they deliver them to your door. 

It’s easy and cheap, and the cards look great. 

But of course, you can also go to your local print shop (or employ the help of some of your marketing-major friends) to source them. 

Whatever works best for you. 

5. Become Amazing At Coaching Other Students

Once you start down the tutoring path, you’ll want to hone your skills and get even better at helping your students succeed. 

In other words, you’ll want to dive deeper into your craft and become more of a tutoring professional.

Consider learning more about test-taking, and never pass up an opportunity to learn more about how to help your students succeed. 

Tutoring is a very results-oriented business. Your greatest calling card is a roster of students who regularly achieve incredible grades with your help. 

6. Start Keeping Track Of Client Results

It’s always a superb idea to keep track of student progress before and after your tutoring. 

Ask students what kinds of grades they were getting before, and compare these to the grades they get after they’ve paid you for your services. 

If you can prove that you help students increase their grades, you’ll have street credibility to grow your hustle even more. 

7. Offer Free Seminars To Generate New Leads

Another great idea for generating new customers for your tutoring business is to work with the school faculty to put on free seminars.

At these seminars, you can offer students a single coaching session for free in a group setting.

For example, you could help students to prepare for the ACT and SATs. 

Then, after the seminar, you can let everyone know that you tutor and tell them how well your students tend to do. 

It’s an intelligent way to make others aware of your service. You pitch them your tutoring services after showing them how knowledgeable you are on the topic. 

Related read: Tax Preparation Services Near Me


Tutoring is a very viable side hustle because many students need help with their studies. 

Taking college courses and tests isn’t easy. 

And getting excellent grades certainly isn’t a walk in the park. 

Plus, there are several ACTs per year. So if you coach for an entry-level exam like that, you can work up to a steady stream of year-around clients. 

This can lead to a very profitable business and income. 

But of course, as with any hustle, it all starts with getting started. You’ve got what it takes, and now you have a plan. 

All that’s left is to execute and make it happen. 

Author bio:

Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Copper Beech at Ames to help them with their online marketing.

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