Frequently Asked Questions - Ivy Tutors Network

Got a question?

We've learned a lot about people's most important questions over the last 20 years. Check out our super helpful FAQ or contact us and ask your specific question! When is too early to start studying for the SAT? When is it too late to study for the SHSAT? Which test is right for me, the ISEE or the SSAT? How do you match tutors with students? What makes a great college essay? Some of these questions need context so we can provide you with the best answer possible. We’ve provided answers to the questions we get asked most often below. Contact us to for expert help 7 days a week!

General FAQ

How do you match tutors with students?

We match students with tutors weighing personality, skill level, and many other factors. When you call us, you can tell us if your child has a specific hobby or interest and we’ll be sure to pass that on to any tutor he/she will be working with. We want to make sure students are extremely comfortable with their tutors and we try our best to ensure that this happens. Since 2003, we’ve made the perfect tutor-student match on the first try over 95% of the time!

How do you choose your tutors?

Our tutors are beyond qualified and go through an interview process to ensure that they are (1) experts in their respective subjects, and (2) are able to present and convey complicated information in a clear fashion. For test prep tutors, our hiring process includes resume submission, reference checks, education verification, a background check, phone and in-person interviews, and a teaching test. Most importantly, however, our tutors connect with children on a level that older adults and parents are not always able to access. Most of our tutors are either actively enrolled Ivy League (or top-tier) university students or graduates of these fine institutions. High School students who are college-bound profit from the college experiences their tutors are able to share with them.

What can we expect from Ivy tutors?

Our tutors are young and fun, they are experienced, flexible and hand-picked to match your child’s needs. The program was started by Lisa Speransky in 2003. Lisa grew up in New York, attending the Bronx High School of Science (8 former students have received the Nobel Prize in science, more than any other secondary school in the world) and then Columbia University. As IVY has grown, we have stayed committed to our core values: hand-picked tutor matches, personal attention via phone and email at times that are convenient for you, and only the best tutors.

College Essay Workshop FAQ

What is the cost for your College Essay Workshop?

The cost varies depending on whether you would like to work with Justin one-on-one or in a group. Group classes are $698 for the entire workshop, including a final draft review by the instructor after the course is finished.

Where does the College Essay class take place?

We are located near Bryant Park, at 32 West 39th Street in New York City. However, currently our courses are all online.

How long is each College Essay Workshop day?

In the current online format, each day includes a 30-min one-on-one coaching session with Justin and 1 hour of interactive online instruction. Students get an additional 30-min one-on-one session before starting the workshop. Justin also reviews a final draft after the workshop ends. Students are then expected to do at least 2 hours of post-session work at home.

How many students are in each College Essay class?

Group classes are limited to 5 students or fewer.

Can I work on my college essay or supplements with Justin 1-on-1 instead of, or in addition to, the workshop?

Yes, absolutely! Schedule with Justin here.

Can I work on my college essay with you online?

Yes, our college essay workshops are given in an interactive, online format.

Please contact us at 800-476-0596 or info@ivytutorsnetwork.com to discuss online tutoring options.

What is the schedule for the online College Essay workshop?

Students start with a one-on-one session with their instructor and get the tools they need to produce a first draft before Monday. On Monday, students attend a 30-min one-on-one and a one-hour group class. On Tuesday, students use what they have learned to complete a 2nd draft. On Wednesday, they attend a one-hour lesson on crafting, storytelling, and reflection and get a one-on-one session for feedback on the 2nd draft. On Thursday, students work on their 3rd drafts independently. On Friday, a mock admissions committee reviews the 3rd draft and there is a final lesson on revising. Students work with the instructor 1-on-1 to polish the 3rd draft and by Sunday, students send the final (4th) draft to the instructor for final feedback.

Homeschool or Remote School FAQ

What ages do you work with?

Ivy Tutors Network works with kids from 2-years old through 12th grade (college admissions). However, our homeschool support pods tend to appeal more to children 2-years-old through middle school as those students need more support from a live teacher and tend to be less independent than high school students. Our most popular homeschool groups are for 1st through 7th graders.

How often do school support pods meet?

Our programs are fully customizable and built on your "new normal" staggered school schedule. If you are interested in in-person teaching, we recommend partnering up with other families on the same schedule and in the same school, as your kids will have been exposed to those kids already. We can help create and facilitate these groups for you, and find the perfect tutor! Many families are opting for 2-3 times per week for 2-4 hours of instruction per day.

How many students are there per pod?

We recommend 4-6 students per pod, but as we can customize our program to suit your needs, we're happy to discuss alternative solutions

Can we just have homework help?

Yes, we can assign a daily homework helper for an individual student or group.

My child's school was not challenging enough last semester. How can you help?

We have almost 20 years of experience designing enrichment programs for students who want to get ahead of the curriculum. We look forward to speaking with you about how we can help your child!

Do you have homeschool support for kids with learning differences or for kids who need remedial help?

Yes, absolutely! We have tutors on staff who are specially trained to work with students who have a range of needs. Check them out here. [link to booking page]

What do we promise to our clients?

Brilliance & Expertise: Our tutors are experts in their subjects; they are undergraduate and graduate school students or recent graduates from the country’s top universities. We have been working with NYC public & private school students for over 17 years and we know what it takes to get into the best Middle & High Schools and then be admitted to the best colleges.

Mentorship: Lisa & Richard personally interview, vet and coach each of our 40+ tutors! Our hiring process includes resume submission, reference checks, education verification, a background check, phone and in-person interviews, and a teaching test for our test prep tutors.

Reliability: Our students consistently demonstrate the off-the-charts results in statewide and countrywide exams like SAT, ACT, ISEE, SSAT, SHSAT, TACHS, Common Core, and more. We get most of our clients through referrals. Families tell other families to call us because we have “the best tutors who just simply get results.”

Simplification & Stress Reduction: Our test prep program is the most efficient one out there. Our SAT and ACT students are able to take advantage of our proprietary course manuals. But all of our students receive a truly personalized service and free weekly proctored testing with detailed reporting.

On Your Team Approach: We are an authorized Department of Education vendor and we take that very seriously. Every year, we work with a handful of schools to supplement the important work that full-time teachers do. We have had tremendous success in raising graduation rates and increasing standardized test scores in many schools.