Varsity Tutors

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

Varsity Tutors has made getting help for my son easy and convenient. He received a specialized tutor for help to achieve a higher score on the ASVAB exam. One of the best things is that any hours that was unused could be transferred to his brother who is currently receiving help to improve his ACT score! I am very pleased with the support and professionalism of this company. Thank you!

When I contacted Varsity Tutors, I was looking for someone who could help my daughter with middle school math concepts. She always gets good grades but she tends to need a little extra coaching and encouragement with new topics. She also needs math to be FUN and engaging. Once I contacted them, the Director reached out to me directly to understand what my child needed, how she learns, and a little about her personality. They quickly matched me with an AMAZING tutor, Nicole. Nicole is outstanding and my daughter doesn't dread her sessions because Nicole makes it fun to learn. I would highly recommend Varsity Tutors to any parent.

I own a dental practice in TN and one of my assistants wanted to learn Spanish dental terminology. She could speak Spanish, but did know Spanish dental vocabulary. She was connected with a native speaking Dentist in Florida who was amazing. They worked together a couple of times a week in Varsity's online environment which was great for her because she could work around her schedule. She really took the time to create a curriculum for her and tested her progression along the way. She suggested materials my assistant could use outside the sessions. Now, we can serve more patients in our area since she can communicate with the Spanish speaking community. I would recommend Varsity Tutors to anyone who needed academic help or to further their professional development!

I had excellent tutoring experience for my GRE preparation with the Varsity Tutors. I had a personal, one-on-one tutoring for the general GRE preparation. The tutor was knowledgeable and takes his time to explain the material that I did not understand. He also made the tutoring sessions engaging and therefore very beneficial. Scheduling for tutoring sessions was flexible - depending on my work schedule. During the sessions we discussed material, practiced essay writing and practiced questions in quantitative and verbal sections. The exercise for each day was determine by my knowledge level for a specific topic and what we both decided will be most useful for my learning process. At the end of each session, the tutor gave me assignments to work on before the following session. We discussed the assignments at the beginning of the sessions before we started on new material.

The tutoring help me to understand lots of study material that I would not have on my own. Although I have not yet written my GRE to determine my score, I would like to say that the tutoring made a huge difference in my GRE knowledge base and will definitely improve my scores from what I would have scored otherwise. It is important for me to mention that Varsity Tutors asked for a review of each tutoring session. They also call from time to time and inquire how the tutoring is going and whether there are any concerns that need to be addressed. The frequent checks by the organization to ensure that the tutoring is going well is very reassuring. Varsity Tutors' one-on-one tutoring is quite expensive, but if you get the tutor like the one I had, you would have not wasted money. I highly recommend Varsitytutors for GRE tutoring.

I started using Varsity Tutors to help prepare myself for the GRE. I was matched up with a perfect tutor, JJ, who I bonded with well. His teaching style fit my learning style completely. After a long summer of many tutoring sessions, I felt very prepared for my upcoming test and was very confident going in. I had a lot of support from JJ as well as encouragement. Without the tutoring sessions I definitely would have been a lot more nervous. I finished the test with a score I was glad to have and if I ever wanted to take it again I still feel prepared just from what I learned in my many tutoring sessions. I would recommend anyone to use this company for any type of test. They are fantastic!

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Bait and Switch. This is a scam. They do not have tutors in your area. They tell you that and you have to pay upfront and then they just want to give you someone online. They told me they would have many people to choose from and that they had people with skills in working with students with LD. Trash. They don't. They lie to sell you. Going to be reporting them to the BBB and the Missouri attorney general's office.

My daughter needed a tutor to help her prep for the ACT exam. I used Varsity Tutors and was assigned an online tutor. I paid $1600 for 12 two hour sessions. The first few sessions went according to the schedule we set, then the tutor didn't show up for a session. Varsity Tutors quickly switched me to a new tutor and we started all over again. Once again sessions would be set up and then cancelled or moved for the convenience of the tutor. Several sessions were changed at the last minute or cancelled. The full amount hours of tutoring service contracted were not used because of the cancellations and rescheduling.

When I asked for a refund for the hours not used, I was told no by Varsity Tutors. They stated that we have gone beyond our 60 days from the time of purchase and no longer qualified for a refund. The only reason we didn't use all of the hours was because of cancelled sessions and switching tutors in the middle of the scheduled sessions. I believe the instructors use Varsity Tutors as a convenient way to make money on the side and when it's inconvenient for them, they cancel or reschedule, without regard for the student's best interest and needs. The only thing they are very good at is a "phone apology" for the sorry service. They get a lot of practice in this area.

When you call they advise you they can find you a local tutor but before they can search you need to pay upfront for a minimum of 5 hours of tutoring. They called us back the next day, advised us there were no local Pre Calculus High School tutors available in the Austin, TX area but they found one in Colorado who could use a web cam and computer to tutor my daughter. We tried for several sessions. The tutor was not experienced in Pre-Calculus for high school students but she tried. My daughter felt like she needed a one on one person in person tutor to help her. We tried to get a refund but Varsity Tutors insisted once our daughter got to college they would be able to help us so leave the money as a credit on the account. Just last week we tried to locate tutors for college Algebra in the Brenham, TX area and were told they had no local tutors and that it was too late to get our money back. This company is a con and should be avoided at all costs.

BEWARE! Varsity Tutors is extremely shady, so heed this warning. I was initially very desperate for a tutor for a difficult class. Absolutely no local tutor was able to help me and even friends from university couldn't answer my questions about the subject. Alas, I gave in and called Varsity Tutors. Their 60 day refund guarantee and seemingly positive reviews was good enough for me, IN THAT MOMENT. HOWEVER, once I'd actually signed up, I realized how sketchy this company is. My warnings about the sketchiness this company hides: The website itself is VERY difficult to navigate. They don't even have a login button on the home page...So it's hard to log in to my account if I need to have an overview of my payments or tutoring sessions.

Prices are NOT given on the website. You have to manually call them, which is absolutely stupid. When I called, the person on the phone was really good at buttering me up and convincing me that I'd be all caught up in class. They made it seem like they were gods. Obviously, desperate me fell for it. Do NOT fall for it. If you look at "Testimonials and Reviews," you'll see ONLY positive, good reviews. It seemed to good to be true, and I'd google other reviews on them to no success. Varsity Tutors has managed to FILTER reviews on them, only letting positive reviews influence you. There's no room for someone to review them, including me. Imagine how many bad things have been screened for. Reviews are biased, so you don't see the full side.

Now, on my experience with Varsity Tutors: My tutor was ok. I was excited at first, because my tutor's bio stated a degree related to the subject I was studying as well as coming from a very prestigious, TOP university. Unfortunately, the level of depth my subject required was WAY too much. I don't blame my tutor, but I blame Varsity Tutors for acting like they had the help I needed. They didn't even ask to see the material I was studying to confirm whether or not they could help. It seems like they assumed I was stupid and believed that covering the basics was enough to guarantee me success. They honestly said, "yeah we'll catch you right up." The people that run Varsity Tutors had the NERVE to guarantee my academic success when that's completely in control of their overworked, under compensated tutors.

There were times when I had to correct my tutor or many other moments when they didn't know the answer. It got to the point that I didn't feel the tutor was greatly knowledgeable enough to help me, so I wanted to quit the program. Again, nothing on my tutor. The fact that I asked friends from top universities such as an IVY LEAGUE who couldn't help me already says enough about the material I was dealing with. When I called to get a refund, NO ONE picked up the first time. Hmm, funny that they picked up when I wanted to sign up and pay for the program. I left a message and told them to call me back. Waited a few days and they didn't call me back. Ok, maybe they were busy. I called back a second time from a DIFFERENT phone, and they did pick up. They claimed that they'd call me back within that same day.

As SOON as I hung up, I never got a call back. It took some credit card company intervention to get a hold of them. Let's be honest. They were probably avoiding my call every possible chance to avoid giving me back my refund, so that when the 60 days were over, it'd be my fault for not getting a hold of them. I'd say having to wait a few days to call is maybe tolerable, but not getting a call back in over a week? Unacceptable. Please be careful and lord I pray you read these reviews before getting with their program. The testimonials are from rich parents that have the money to splurge on basic tutoring for kids that probably didn't have the discipline to learn the basics on their own. The amount of time a tutor wastes with you is an insult for someone that's capable of self learning but just needed PROFESSIONAL/KNOWLEDGEABLE/QUALIFIED help.

Do notice that most testimonials are from 12th grade and under, and the majority are for standardized tests such as SATs or APs. In my case, I was learning abstract material that went above and beyond my basic class, and my tutor, having a degree in that material, should have been able to help me. But as I found out, there's no guarantee. I guess my target audience for this review is for people that never needed tutoring and considered giving in because they were desperate. Remember, if you initially could learn stuff on your own, it's possible the material is now just extremely difficult, and a tutor is not going to make you smarter or bridge the gap. A tutor is for those that absolutely can't do it on their own. So know your strengths and know what you actually need. And for everyone's sake, do NOT let this trash company scam you.

I feel I have to write something to raise the company's attention for the quality of their tutor service! I spent a big money, purchased hours from Varsity Tutors to help my kids' preparing for standard tests, PSAT, SAT and AP exams. They don't need seat in generic prep classes for everything but will need to target their weak spots. I expected this one-to-one tutoring be more efficient and effective to help them achieve the goal.

However, we couldn't achieve this with Varsity Tutors. They can't provide a qualified tutor for test prep! My kids had to educate those tutors they sent in to us on SAT tests and AP exams! My daughter has graduated from high school without benefit from Varsity Tutors' service at all. She feel lucky to not have to deal with those tutors anymore. My son, now after several tryouts, refuses to use any more tutors from Varsity Tutors. He thinks they "Waste his time instead of help him"! I do see myself. They come in first time unprepared and start, have my kids tell them what will be tested and which format of test will be used and how they can help? I had to hire another private tutor out of Varsity Tutors to help my son on his PSAT prep. My son was so impressed by that private tutor.

Varsity Tutors now is a big headache to me! They refuse to refund us remaining balance. I paid over $3000 and they charged us to tryout their tutors. We still have most of the hours. So can you tell me what I need to do to get out of this without loss my remaining money. We have been charged by those unproductive tryouts! It seems totally wrong way for Varsity Tutors' conduct business like this! BTW, the Varsity Tutors' administrative ladies are very nice and polite although they have not found a right tutor for my kids.

I had a contract with Varsity Tutors for my daughter (SAT). She had taken the exam twice before with no improvement and Varsity Tutors assured me that she would improve her score at least 100 points. She worked diligently with the tutor, but when she retook the test, she had the same score as before. When I confronted Varsity Tutors about their "100% money back guarantee" they told me that all they could offer my daughter was more tutoring. This was impossible as she cannot take another Sat and get into college in time. I was extremely disappointed with their false advertising of a money back guarantee. This was a terrible experience for my daughter and I feel swindled.

Expert Review

ConsumerAffairs Research Team

The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.

The newest entrant in this field is Varsity Tutors, founded in 2007. Their private tutors have built up a database of more than 100,000 questions across 150 subjects.

  • Live 1-to-1 help: Instead of self-guided programs that can be vague or irrelevant, everyone gets the precise help they need to improve their scores.
  • Beyond test prep: After the GRE is finished, you will have a working relationship with a tutor who can help in your academic career.
  • Major languages: Tutoring is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Latin and Mandarin Chinese.
  • Ivy League education: Many of their tutors have degrees from Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, UChicago and the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Satisfaction: Varsity Tutors has a 98% satisfaction rating and offers a full guarantee if you're not satisfied with your GRE prep.
  • Low overhead: Because they don't have to maintain classrooms, they can afford to price tutoring services at a more practical rate.
  • No contracts: Tutoring hours are not locked into long contracts and can be used for any subject or test.
  • Best for Those looking for highly educated tutors, that can stay involved in academic achievements long after the GRE is finished.

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Varsity Tutors Company Profile

Company Name:
Varsity Tutors
Year Founded:
8000 Maryland Avenue
St. Louis
Postal Code:
United States