5 Tips for Improving Student Retention and Outcomes Through Tutoring

As the growth in technology allows academic institutions and independent educators to offer classes online to learners globally, it is important to provide quality services to meet the expectations of students.

The global market for online tutoring is expected to grow to $487460 million by 2028, which is an exciting news for edTech businesses. But most online teachers find retention of online students the most difficult hurdle to overcome when starting an online tutoring business. 

Considering the number of choices available to students at different price points, it is natural for them to flock to other tutors if your services don’t meet the quality they expect. But wait, is the “quality” of classes the only criterion when it comes to student retention strategies? No, it isn’t.

So if you are looking for student retention best practices to grow your online tutoring business, this blog is an excellent guide to help you begin. So, let’s start.

What is student retention?

Before getting into student retention best practices, let’s understand what student retention is. 

Student retention might seem like a simple thing: Get students and keep them. 

But it could be a little more complex than that. When you pay attention to your learner churn rates, it also makes sense to consider the sticking points your learners might encounter in their time with you.

There might be different reasons why your learners might be having a hard time and why retention of online students becomes difficult. Let’s look at three main reasons:

● Online learning isn’t easy

Being an online tutor, you know how hard it is to tutor online; the environment is different, and you and the students aren’t present together; engaging your learners is a tough task, and the list can go on. The same applies to students who are signing up for online classes. 

While it might appear simple on the surface, there are major challenges for students:

● Students don’t get the support they need

While you might be making your classes fun and interesting, students might need a different level of support to excel in classes or complete online courses. This is because not all students have the same learning capabilities and skills. 

Retention of online students can be affected by low-priced online courses or classes that provide only email support. New tutors might be lacking the ability to offer the level of support essential for student success according to their learning abilities. 

● Community connection is missing

Part of the reason why traditional classroom-based learning is successful is the connections students make as a community with other students. If you are looking for strategies for online learning for students, you must find effective ways to create a space for students for content sharing, collaborative learning, and active participation that learners might otherwise miss.

Retention of online students- effective strategies to reduce churn

Rather than approaching retention of online students as a challenge to be addressed, it works better this way- See it as an opportunity to serve your students better. 

The process must actually start even before your students sign up.

Attract the right students

Before you decide to move forward with running your online tutoring business, you must have an understanding of who you are going to serve. 

Who is your target prospects?? What challenges do they face? And how your online classes can help them. 

Retention of online students starts with getting the right learners in the door

Ideally, your online classes and your USPs are essential. But only if you attract the right students you can eliminate the primary factor in high churn rates. 

Once you enroll the right people, what’s next?

Welcome them warmly

You get only one chance to make the first impression; it is true in life and in online classes as well. When your learners first sign up for your classes, you get to either wow them or leave them feeling they aren’t cared enough. Good first impressions aren’t just about welcoming.

Include relevant learning materials, links, and suggestions as part of your onboarding process. Teach your students how to use your tutoring platform effectively. 

Be yourself

One of the student retention best practices is to be your true self and follow your own style. 

If something doesn’t feel authentic to your students, it’s probably not going to work. Make sure you follow your own style and be genuine as possible as you normally are. 

Foster connections outside the class

Students would love tutors who connect with them outside the class, like on social media and YouTube; this applies greatly to younger students.

To foster a connection with your students outside the class, give them a chance to know you better- either by encouraging them to interact with your social platforms or through emails. 

Set up re-engagement and reminder emails

Students might enroll in a few classes of yours or start your courses with great enthusiasm. And then chances are that they might get lost in the crowd. If you lose them, implement re-engagement strategies like sending reminder emails. 

Checking in once in a while also shows that you care about them and reminds them to connect with you again.

Set up weekly reminder emails if your students have been staying away from your classes or have left your online course halfway. 

Here is an example of reminder emails to turn up the class at the right time.

Build community

The success rate of online tutoring improves when students have the chance to develop relationships with their fellow students.

To improve retention of online students, you can use a cohort-based model for enrolment where every learner in a cohort starts their coursework at the same time. This gives your learners a feeling they are all doing this together.

Provide flexible hours and availability for academic support

When you want to offer extra support to your students, choose flexible hours other than the normal call hours. This will help your students connect with tutors online when they are free and required. 

Utilize peer tutors to doubt the impact

When trying how to increase student retention, make sure you sell the support of online peer tutors as well. You can consider building an online tutoring marketplace so that you can hire other tutors and offer classes on a wide range of subjects from industry experts. 

Continuously collect feedback and analyze it

If you want to retain students online, you need to work on your weak areas and focus on overcoming those. This is where collecting feedback will help you to offer exactly what your students need.

If you own an online tutoring marketplace, you need to assess the feedback on the quality of classes completed with every coach. Implement feedback collection and work on analyzing it so that you can improve student retention in turn.


When it comes to increases in the churn rates of online classes, there are several reasons behind it. Planning and implementing key student retention strategies will help prepare learners to navigate challenges, take advantage of online tutors, and feel fully supported, knowing when to reach out for help when required.

Are you interested in learning more about what tools to implement in your online tutoring website for better student retention, or do you want assistance in starting an online tutoring platform of your own? Do contact us for expert guidance on running your online tutoring business the right way.

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