Here's an amazing development I'd take advantage of if I were an undergrad: Indian tutors who work over the internet and charge as little as $2.50 an hour.
Private tutors are a luxury many American families cannot afford, costing anywhere between $25 to $100 an hour. But California mother Denise Robison found one online for $2.50 an hour -- in India.
"It's made the biggest difference. My daughter is literally at the top of every single one of her classes and she has never done that before," said Robison, a single mother from Modesto.
Her 13-year-old daughter, Taylor, is one of 1,100 Americans enrolled in Bangalore-based TutorVista, which launched U.S. services last November with a staff of 150 "e-tutors" mostly in India with a fee of $100 a month for unlimited hours.
Considering that $100 will buy you an hour of high-end face-to-face tutoring by an American, this is an amazing value. It sounds like TutorVista has built a great business model:
"We've changed the paradigm of tutoring," said Krishnan Ganesh, founder and chairman of TutorVista, which offers subjects ranging from grammar to geometry for children as young as 6 years old to adults in college.
"It's not that the U.S. education system is not good. It's just that it's impossible to give personalized education at an affordable cost unless you use technology, unless you use the Internet and unless you can use lower-cost job centers like India," he said over a crackly Internet-phone line from Bangalore. "We can deliver that."
Many of the tutors have masters degrees in their subjects, said Ganesh. On average, they have taught for 10 years. Each undergoes 60 hours of training, including lessons on how to speak in a U.S. accent and how to decipher American slang.
They are schooled on U.S. history and state curricula, and work in mini-call centers or from their homes across India. One operates out of Hong Kong, teaching the Chinese language.
This is very exciting to me... maybe I'll re-take some of the calculus lessons I can barely remember from my freshman year.