Cost Considerations and Funding Sources for Higher Education Institution (HEI) Tutoring Partnerships with K-12 School Districts

This document outlines costs and funding sources needed to develop and/or grow a tutoring partnership between your HEI and a local K-12 school district. The amount and type of funding needed will be based on the model of your tutoring program. Use this cost calculator and HEI-specific budgeting template to understand your projected costs. This information is compiled from interviews with existing HEI tutoring programs. 

Program Costs to Consider

Program costs depend on the model and type of partnership established with the school district for the tutoring program. This list of costs is divided into three main categories: staffing costs, onboarding and training costs, and additional program costs. Where relevant, the costs below include suggestions for offering in-kind support from the HEI to build upon pre-existing infrastructure within the HEI. These costs tend to recur on an annual basis, and therefore should be considered as part of multi-year planning. 

  • Staffing Costs
    • Tutor Wages/Stipend 
    • Program Management Staff Wages/Stipends (HEI staff to manage initiative internally)
    • Program Support Staff Wages/Stipends (Coaches, Site Directors, etc.) 
      • support options include hiring HEI faculty with instructional backgrounds to coach tutors with the option for course release time
    • Personnel Fringe Benefits
  • Onboarding and Training Costs 
    • Stipends for School-based Staff (tutor supervisors and/or coaches, program managers, logistics coordinators)
    • Curriculum and Assessments 
      • support options include state, district or school of education existing materials, Saga Curriculum for middle grades math
    • Training Curriculum and Materials 
      • support options include state, district or school of education existing materials, Saga Coach asynchronous training modules
    • Legal, Marketing, HR support 
      • support option includes shared university services
    • Training Stipends for Tutors 
      • support options include federal work-study funding, AmeriCorps funding, course credit, community service credit, educator preparation program requirement credit
    • Fingerprinting/Background Check Costs as required by the district and/or HEI
  • Additional Program Costs 
    • Technology Devices for Tutors and K-12 Students
    • Supplies (school supplies, communications about program)
    • Transportation to and from tutoring sites
    • Evaluation 
      • support options include in-kind from the HEI 
    • Other Costs

Additional tutor program roles that are usually covered by the district include space for tutoring, identification of students, training or informing the teachers/students/caregivers about the program, and oversight of the tutoring (some unions require). 

Financial and Non-financial Sources to Consider 

While each HEI accesses different funding streams, most HEI tutoring programs leverage a combination of multiple funding sources. HEIs can consider the financial funding sources below: 

Non-financial support opportunities include: 

  • Provide community service credits for tutoring if your HEI has community service requirements.
  • Provide course credit options that are open to all students. Such courses might be categorized as service learning, community-engaged learning, academic internships, volunteer credit, public service credit, independent study, or special studies, or use similar terms. See examples below.
  • Provide course credit or clinical hours as part of an educator preparation program course for tutoring. See examples and guidance below.
  • Provide awards for student volunteers or formally recognize community-based work. See examples below. 
  • Offer a co-curricular record as a pathway for undergraduates to receive recognition for significant achievements beyond academics. See examples below.

Partnering for Additional Support

Beyond HEI resources, district resources, and grant opportunities, many HEIs partner with other nonprofit or community-based organizations for support, especially if tutoring occurs during out-of-school time.

Examples of Non-financial Support for Students who Tutor

Course Credit

The University of California, San Diego offers multiple pathways to community service in education (such as tutoring), via elective courses that can fulfill undergraduates’ general campus graduation requirements as flexible elective units, as well as some major and minor departments’ course requirements. These include:

Academic Internship Program:

  • AIP provides standard course numbers that function similarly to independent study courses, and provide lower division and upper division elective credits to undergraduate students of any major.
  • Community-based academic internship opportunities are posted in a searchable online database, pointing students to schools and other organizations that are willing to host volunteers at their sites. Individual students may apply for a role with the community organization (e.g., becoming a tutor with a school), and enroll in the independent study credits through the university. 
  • In addition to being trained and mentored by a professional in the field (e.g., classroom teacher or tutoring coordinator), the undergraduate is supervised by a faculty member at the university (e.g., education professor), who agrees to support and guide their work during the course credit period.
  • Students can enroll in AIP courses for multiple quarters and continue to earn credit for their academic internship. 

Thurgood Marshall College Partnership Schools Program (PSP)

  • PSP offers one course number (TMC 120) that is available three times throughout the school year, and provides upper division elective credit for undergraduates of any major. 
  • Undergraduates serve as classroom tutors, and are placed in a classroom at one of two partnership school sites.
  • Undergraduates receive immediate site-based tutoring training from each partner school’s volunteer coordinator. They also engage in ongoing fieldwork training, theoretical learning, and class discussion with their university instructor. 
  • Students can continue volunteering for credit beyond the initial TMC 120 course. Once the first course is completed, students can enroll in “special studies” course numbers that function similarly to “independent study,” allowing them to continue their volunteer service while still earning elective units. 

Volunteer or Community-based Work Recognition 

Morehouse College offers service recognition opportunities through the Bonner Office of Community Service. Forms of recognition include the President’s Volunteer Service Award, President’s Awards for Community Service and Social Justice, Volunteer of the Month, and Volunteer of the Semester. 

HEIs can award Presidential Service Awards by becoming a Certifying Organization

Co-Curricular Record (CCR)

The CCR functions like a transcript that reflects a student’s institutionally-verified activities in community service, leadership, or other approved CCR experiences. For example, see Indiana State University, the College of Southern Nevada, and the University of California, San Diego.