Like every organization at Harvard, the Bureau of Study Counsel has to trim costs. And given that tutoring fees haven’t gone up in more than a decade, raising tutors’ prices seems a sensible move. Therefore, we support the BSC’s decision to save money in a way that will not diminish the services it provides by upping its tuition rates from $4 to $7 per hour (while the rate increases to $14 per hour after the first 10 hours, apparently fewer than a quarter of tutoring requests fall into this category). Critical to our support of the increase, however, is the continued role of the Financial Aid Office, which will continue to assist students in need.
Even with the small increase, BSC tutoring rates will remain quite reasonable. Fees of $7 per hour would be a steal in commercial tutoring. The service will retain affordable prices while at the same time preserving its financial solvency and avoiding the need for cutbacks.
However, the BCS could do more to raise its profile and spread awareness of this service as an option for struggling students. With tutoring costing up to hundreds of dollars per hour outside Harvard, students should consider using BSC’s tutoring service more, even after the price hike. We also recognize the variety of free resources available to students—teaching fellows, professors, and friends can all provide help to students, too.
Just as we hope more people consider the tutoring service, we also urge students to think about becoming tutors themselves. Some students may stay away from doing so because they consider themselves unqualified for the job. However, sometimes the best tutors are those who paid the best attention, or even struggled themselves, and can empathize with their pupils. To be a good tutor, one does not need to have aced a class. We hope that the price increases ensure the continued financial health of the program, encouraging more participants in the future.
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