An example of a tutoring session on InstaEDU.

As many of you know, it can be difficult to meet up with a tutor on campus.

Finding a well-qualified and enthusiastic tutor is the hard part. Then, comes the even harder task of trying to fit a tutoring session into your already-packed schedule … during the times your tutor has available. While you can find a tutor on campus for free, most likely, it can be inconvenient.

You could take the route of finding a tutor at a company off campus instead, which would more easily work around your schedule, but you’ll have to put in the gas money to get there AND pay some good money for their services.

While there are many students out there who need tutoring on a regular basis, there are also many of us out there who only need help on an occasional basis.

The need for tutoring could come at a time when we least expect … such as when you’re cramming for that midterm or even just trying to finish your homework. Unfortunately, for most of us, this doesn’t happen within normal office hours. Most often, it’s late at night since we procrastinated our work.

Enter Alison Johnston. Alison says she and her brother, Dan Johnston, and friend, Joey Shurtleff, founded InstaEDU in 2011 to help solve this very problem.

“I never worked with a tutor in college, but I can certainly remember nights when I frantically searched for help with a homework problem,” said Alison via email.

Because of this, Alison says her service has tutors available 24/7. And since the tutors, who are also students, are also awake and available at odd hours as well, it seems to be a perfect fit.

The service costs 40 cents a minute and students can even use video chat during their tutoring session if they want to.

Alison says tutors get paid $20 an hour and can work from their dorm room if they want. She says the tutors are notified via Gchat and Facebook when a student requests the subject they are qualified to help with.

Aly, a student at an Ivy League school, says she found out about InstaEDU through a Google search as she was working through some homework. She says she actually prefers getting tutored online rather than a traditional setting because of the easy access.

I wish I had something like InstaEDU available when I was in college — especially when I was having lots of trouble figuring out my economics homework. Luckily for me, I had a friend who lived in my dorm hall who had a rare enthusiasm for the topic and didn’t mind staying up into the wee hours of the night with me before my midterm to help explain things to me.

Even though I wish I would’ve had a service like this available back then, I know it would have been hard for me to part from my already meager funds in my bank account to pay for tutoring, especially since I could probably find a free tutor on campus.

However, I understand just how desperate an all-night studying session can be. Sometimes you hit that wall and just can’t figure out what you’re doing wrong. Sometimes you need a little help! I know I was very stingy with  my money in college and probably paying for a tutor wouldn’t have been ideal, but I also realize just how convenient something like InstaEDU could have been when I was in frantic studying mode.

What do you think? Would you rather pay to use a service like InstaEDU or stick to finding a free tutor on campus? Let me know in the comments!

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