Pricing Guidelines

Please make sure you read the details and policies in this page in their entirety.  Also note that I occasionally charge less than the rates listed here, depending on availability.  If you are already one of my clients, a given fee or policy might not apply to you (at my discretion).  Pricing and availability are subject to change without being immediately updated on this website.  As my pricing policies could change faster than I update them on this site, it's best if you contact me directly for exact information.

Payments for our first few sessions are made in Cash or by Credit Card. Payment is always due in full when the session is over, or possibly at the end of each hour.  I do not accept personal checks until the 4th session. The bounced check fee is $35 or, if greater than $350, %10 of the value of the check.

This page has 4 sections:
Tutoring Rates
3 Ways to Save
Policies
Putting My Rates into Perspective

Tutoring Rates

To hire me:
GMAT Tutoring is at the rate of $120/hour.
Academic tutoring is currently $100-120/hr if we meet at my apartment or via Skype (either way we use a large 4'x8' dry erase board).  While Skype tutoring is effective and saves you the trip to me or the cost of the travel fee, in-person tutoring is where the real magic is.

Group Rates
: $160/hr for 2 people, $200/hr for 3 people, and $240/hr for 4 people.

Typical session length is 1.5-2 hours, although I have done as much as 7 hours in one sitting. (Whew! That one was exhaustive and exhausting.)
Limited financial aid is available on a case-by-case basis.

To hire my other tutors (all subjects):
In general, rates for my other tutors are lower than the rate for hiring me. The rates vary and are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Travel
If I come to you, the travel fee is a fixed cost.  It is calculated as: 
$5, plus the hourly tutoring rate applied to the time of a round trip as indicated by googlemaps, plus all parking/toll costs (if applicable).  
After the first time we meet, concierge/elevator wait times, etc. will be included in the minutely travel charge. There is a $20 fee per session if we meet at the library in Hyde Park.  For travel fees exceeding $20, the travel fee is to be paid by paypal before I leave, and is nonrefundable.  
Prices for travel may increase during snowy/icy/cold weather, or you can come to me.  There is a roughly $10 "car warm-up" fee if the temperature is below freezing (depends on temperature).  The inclement weather fee may be up to $30 depending on the amount of snow, ice, or rain.  If road conditions are bad, I may have to drive slower and increase the driving time.  In the worst case (blizzard), I would take public transportation, or you could come to me if you would rather not pay the driving fee.

Short Notice

If you would like help on short notice (within a 24 hour period) call or text my cell (773-603-3833). The fee is $20, or more for larger amounts of time.  This fee may be reduced for new clients, but might not be waived during busy seasons.

Minimum
$100 per session, and all prices (e.g. for fractions of an hour) are rounded up to the nearest $5.  There is a $10 minimum for travel.

Diagnostic Tests
I can give you a copy and diagnose for $10. Discussing the test is at the usual tutoring rate.

Independent Research Preliminary to Tutoring
This starts at $50 per hour and depends on the project (1 hour minimum). This is for pure or applied mathematics topics that I am not formally acquainted with but can learn quickly given my prior exposure to math, or topics that I am somewhat familiar with, but that would require some work. You would not be charged for portions I cannot complete, and you can set a cap on the number of hours you will pay for before I start.  Depending on the project, I may charge at a reduced rate for our first meeting.  As these projects are unique, it's best if we establish the details by direct communication.

Math Solving
Just need me to solve some math and you'll deal with it later?  Contact me to discuss details and determine an appropriate price. Please make it explicit that you are seeking my math solving service.  These projects tend to run in the low hundreds to low thousands of dollars range, depending on the scope and level of difficulty.


3 Ways to Save


Advance Purchase Discounts:
Prepay for sessions and receive a discount proportional to the number of sessions/hours reserved. The more you prepay for, the higher the discount.  The prepay discount is larger before your first three sessions with me, or 1 week from our initial contact, whichever is less.  Let me know how many sessions, hours per session, and what the schedule is and I can tell you what the discount is.  You also will not have to worry about potential price increases for the duration of the prepaid period.
My suggestion if you're considering Advance Purchase is to first try one session at the normal rate.  Payment submitted for Advance Purchase is nonrefundable.  The discount applies only to the hourly rate we discuss, not to late fees, travel time, increases for peak times, etc.  Any alteration to the conditions determining the discounted price that we have discussed is charged at the undiscounted rate.  Unless otherwise stated, all advanced purchased tutoring sessions must be used within 3 months of receipt of payment, or a number of weeks equal to the number of sessions reserved, whichever is less.  Keep in mind the minimum time per session, which is the set time per session you prepaid for. Going under this time in a session still counts as a session and the difference cannot be subtracted from future sessions.  
Feel free to ask if you have any questions about my policies on Advance Purchases.

Referring Other Clients:
Know someone else who needs tutoring?  Send them to me and get a commission when they complete their second session.  Commission is tutoring credit or cash, with more for the former.  Commission increases as the client uses my services more.  Ask for details.  If you've never used my services before, you can still earn a commission for each client you send me after the first one.

Group rates

The cost per person is significantly reduced if I am tutoring more than one person.  This is most effective if the students are at a similar level within the same class/topic.  Group tutoring can be quite efficient if, while I am answering one person's questions, the other person is still working and thinking up their next question.  Group rates vary on a case-by-case basis, but in general it's an additional $40/hr per person.  So for example $120/hr for one person becomes $80/hr per person for 2 people, $67/hr per person for 3 people, and $60/hr per person for 4 people.


Some Policies

Cancellation Policy
Clients who notify me with their intent to cancel within 24 hours before the scheduled time are charged a cancellation fee equal to %20 of the cost of the missed session (including travel time), due either by paypal or the next time we meet.  Canceling within a 6 hour period of the start time results in a %30 charge (including travel).  If there is a travel fee and I have already begun driving, the cancellation fee equals %40 of the lesson cost (including travel).  Minimum cancellation fee is $20.

Late Policy
I don't so much mind clients being 5 minutes late, and I'm flexible about this.  However, if we start late and I have something else scheduled after the session ends, I must make that appointment and you are still charged for the full session.

Rate Variations
Periodically, my schedule becomes so full that I cannot take on any new clients.  When this happens, the price rises (supply/demand).  Existing clients will always be notified at least 2 scheduled sessions or 1 week in advance, whichever is less, in the event of a fee increase.  Price increases will not be applied to prepaid sessions.


Putting My Rates into Perspective:
First of all, I am the best math tutor on the market.  Of course anyone can make a generic claim such as that, but my rates should at least lend some credibility to that statement.  If I wasn't at or near the best, no one would pay what I charge.  But even with the higher-than-average cost, my price is much less than that which major tutoring companies of comparable quality charge (A major tutoring company in Manhattan bills at around $800/hour for their best tutor).  Additionally, a tutor at a major tutoring company charging what I charge (or more) will almost certainly be of lower quality than me.  The reason why is simple: The tutors only get a small fraction of what the company charges, and why would someone with equal or greater qualifications than me be working for a fraction of the hourly wage, rather than doing it independently, like I do?  The extra dollars you pay for an elite tutoring company do not all go toward higher quality tutoring; Much of it is just profit for the owners/directors.  Most of my expenses, on the other hand, are in the form of rent/advertising/commission for referrals when someone sends me clients, and the rest of the cost to you comes from the high demand for services such as mine and scarcity of supply. 

So are you really saving money by using a cheaper but worse tutor?  The student will not only have to spend more time with the less qualified tutor than with me (time which costs $, by the way, in addition to the value of time itself), but also won't learn the material as well as they would with me.  Another point to consider is that most tutors at major tutoring companies haven't learned math past calculus (and even then, how well did they learn calculus?), and therefore can't offer all the subjects I do.  My having that broad perspective matters even if for example the student is only studying basic algebra, because I will be able to put everything I teach in a context that someone with a more limited background won't be able to.

To offer yet another perspective, consider the price of my alma mater, one of the finest universities in the world.  In a simplified calculation, undergraduate classes at U of C cost around $120-160/hour spent in class.  Bear in mind that you don't get individual attention in any of these classes.

Take a look, if you haven't already, at the "About Me" and "Why Me?" sections for additional relevant information to put my pricing in perspective.  Also, consider how I spend a significant amount of time, outside of the meeting part of tutoring, doing things related to tutoring. They may be specific to you (phone, texts, emails, planning, etc.), or more general (marketing, researching, etc.). It is not uncommon for my clients to spontaneously receive an email from me at an odd hour of the night regarding some idea or concern I had, which could range from minor to major importance.  In any event, I involuntarily spend time away from my students thinking about tutoring that I would otherwise be spending on my studies, and that costs me.  I also moved into a larger apartment in a better neighborhood (and have to pay higher rent) solely so that I could tutor my students in a comfortable environment without having to deal with the inconveniences of using a public library.

Also, it is important that you to understand that I care how my students do, and feel rewarded when they excel with my help and are excited about it, but at the same time, I have specific goals not related to tutoring that require a significant amount of my time and energy. So bear in mind that my pricing structure reflects how the time I spend tutoring subtracts from the time I devote to my other life goals. For a time I was considering financing a masters in financial mathematics at U of C, or an MBA at the Chicago Booth School of Business, which would have required a significant financial investment:
http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/admissions/costs.aspx
http://www-finmath.uchicago.edu/new/msfm/prospective/plan_tuition.php

I also considered pursuing a PhD in business/microeconomics at the Booth School of Business, and was trying to save up enough to be able to study comfortably for 5-7 years, free of financial worries. I was working to procure these funds while studying economics (and other relevant) courses at the U of C.

I'm also interested in philanthropy, and am currently working with the schools I attended, developing the math/science curricula.  Somewhere down the line, I'd like to create comprehensive adaptive mathematics education software (up to multivariate calculus) and distribute it freely to everyone in the world.  If you know anyone who might be interested in funding that project, please let me know.
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