Should you tip your tutor?

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Dan Edmonds, Long time test prep tutor in NYC

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I have been tutoring for about 20 years, and I can tell you there are two circumstances under which I've been tipped in the past:

  1. At the end of a tutoring relationship if I've helped the student achieve exceptional results.
  2. At the holidays.

I don't expect tips under any circumstance, and many of my best and favorite clients have never tipped me. Tips, though not expected, are, of course, always appreciated.

Those clients who do give me holiday tips (I would guess that about a quarter of my clients give holiday tips, and the percent seems to be growing) tend either to give gifts (a nice bottle of wine, for example), gift certificates to a good restaurant, or cash tips that are somewhere in the neighborhood of my hourly rate.

Tips for exceptional results have included being taken out for a very nice meal or substantial cash gifts.

Karen Berlin Ishii, One-to-One Test Prep and Homework Help

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I, too, am a longtime test prep tutor. I've taught students in New York, Boston and around the world over the course of many years. My experience in getting tips or presents is simiar to Dan's. Occasionally a family for whom I have tutored for a season or longer will present me with a Christmas gift or a thank you present at the end of a student's studies with me: usually a check in the amount of about one hour's lesson fee or the equivalent in a gift card, occasionally a bottle of champagne if the student just got into his or her dream college! A thank you gift is always appreciated, and teachers probably most appreciate their tips or thank you gifts in the form of money or a gift card that they can use.

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Colleen Clemens, College Professor, Writer, Editor, Tutor & Parent

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I, too, have received tips when a student with whom I have worked closely has graduated--along with the other times mentioned above. A tutor should not expect a tip, as she is charging what she deems appropriate. And a tutor should not get a tip after every session. But a small gesture of appreciation at a landmark moment is always appreciated!

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