Updated January 3, 2018.
The private tutoring market is worth more than $100 billion around the world and a cool $13 billion in the U.S. Entrepreneurs who want a piece of that action can consider buying into one of the top 10 tutoring franchises of 2019, six of which have achieved rankings on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list.
Tutoring franchises in the U.S. as a group take in over $1 billion in revenues each year, a figure that’s poised to grow robustly in coming years now that the negative effects of the Great Recession are finally fading away. More than ever before, millions of parents are willing to invest in helping their kids do better in school, whether it’s remedial help or trying to get a leg up on college admissions.
A rising trend that has yet to fully work its way into many of the franchises on this list is the rapid growth of online tutoring for college-bound students. The online tutoring market in the U.S. was valued at $467 million in 2018 and is expected to grow in coming years.
Here are our picks for the 10 best tutoring franchises of 2019:
1. Kumon Math and Reading Centers
Kumon Math and Reading Centers offer a proven worksheet method to boost a child’s mastery of both math and reading. The worksheets are carefully crafted as short, incremental assignments that take about 30 minutes to complete. Tutors check the sheets to ensure the child has mastered the concepts of that sheet before moving on. Each worksheet provides the knowledge needed to solve the problems, enabling kids to self-learn each new concept. The concept was the brainchild of high school math teacher Toru Kumon to help his second-grade son learn math back in 1954. Clearly, it worked quite well.
This company currently ranks #20 on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list. Founded in 1955 and franchising since 1958, there are now 25,881 Kumon Centers scattered all over the world, with 1,502 in the U.S. and only 27 that are company-owned.
2. Eye Level Learning Centers
Eye Level Learning Centers provide supplemental instruction in math and English from a philosophy of starting by seeing things from the student’s eye level. Students learn at their own pace, starting from a thorough understanding of their learning needs. In addition to solid foundations in math and English achieved through incremental learning, the goal is to develop critical thinking and analytical skills, self-confidence, and an interest in learning.
Founded in 1976 in Korea and franchising since then, the number of locations has expanded over the past 10 years from 681 in 2008 to the current total of 1,632, of which 814 are company-owned and 622 are located outside the U.S.
3. Mathnasium Learning Centers
Mathnasium Learning Centers focus solely on teaching math to kids in a way that makes sense to them. Its proprietary Mathnasium Method begins with a customized assessment to pinpoint a child’s learning needs and helps avoid wasting time on concepts they already know. Ongoing learning assessments ensure that what they’ve learned sticks. Proprietary methods and materials are then administered by trained Mathnasium instructors to teach the needed concepts.
This company currently ranks #28 on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list. Founded in 2002 and franchising since 2003, the number of locations has expanded steadily over the past 10 years from 228 in 2008 to the current total of 937, of which 13 are company-owned and 109 of which are located outside the U.S.
4. Sylvan Learning
Sylvan Learning provides tutoring, math instruction, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, test prep, and college prep services using certified Sylvan teachers who provide highly personalized instruction. Students receiving Sylvan tutoring see up to three times more growth in their math and reading scores than other students. Its math instruction students get up to two times more growth in math scores than their peers.
Founded in 1979 and franchising since 1980, the number of locations has declined over the last 10 years from 1,030 in 2008 to the current total of 585, of which 11 are company-owned and 87 are located outside the U.S.
5. Tutor Doctor
Tutor Doctor provides in-home, one-on-one tutoring across all ages, grade levels, and subjects after getting to know how a student learns in order to adapt tutoring techniques to meet their needs. The process begins with a free consultation and assessment, from which the company then uses its advanced matching system to find the tutor that best suits the student. It also includes the X-Skills program to help students develop the executive skills essential to academic success.
This company currently ranks #158 on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list. Founded in 2000 and franchising since 2003, the number of locations has increased rapidly over the last 10 years from just 17 locations in 2008 to the current total of 555, of which only one is company-owned and 255 are located outside the U.S.
6. JEI Learning Centers
JEI Learning Centers provide students with its self-paced individualized self-learning materials for math and English (reading and writing) that teach in a step-by-step incremental way that is aligned with state standards. Using its proprietary scientific diagnostic system to pinpoint each student’s strengths and weaknesses, a prescriptive study program is then developed. New concepts and skills are taught through weekly workbooks, at the end of which an Interim Test is given to evaluate the level of mastery of the material.
This company currently ranks #322 on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list. Founded in South Korea in 1977 and franchising since 1992, there are currently 524 locations, of which 246 are company-owned and 220 of which are located outside the U.S.
7. Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services
Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services includes both in-home and online one-on-one tutoring and test prep services to students without the competitive aspect often found in the classroom. It covers all grade levels and subjects and the tutors communicate with the student’s classroom teacher(s) to ensure they are complementing the school curriculum. On average, students improve by 2 letter grades in 60 days. Tutors are available when needed, including evenings, weekends, and during school breaks.
Founded in 1995 and franchising since 1998, the number of locations has declined slightly in recent years from a high of 433 in 2009 to the current total of 386, none of which are company owned and 16 of which are located outside the U.S.
8. Huntington Learning Centers
Huntington Learning Centers provide highly individualized tutoring and test prep services to students through personalized learning plans developed after a full academic evaluation that identifies learning needs. All instructors are certified and trained, and Huntington Learning Centers are accredited by the same organizations that accredit local schools, which is rarely found in tutors or tutoring companies. On average, their students see 2+ grade levels of growth in reading and math, and better their SAT scores by 200+ points.
This company currently ranks #154 on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list. Founded in 1977 and franchising since 1985, there are currently 289 locations, 34 of which are company-owned and all of which are located in the U.S.
9. Best in Class Education Center
Best in Class Education Center offers math and English enrichment instruction in weekly 60 to 75-minute small group classes, private one-on-one tutoring across all subjects, and test prep (including preparation for gifted program entrance exams). It also offers math and English classes for pre-K learners aged 3-5, along with a variety of other offerings including after-school programs, summer camps, college prep, TOEFL/IELTS instruction, and a writing skills assessment. There are currently 48 locations, all franchised in the U.S.
This company currently ranks #248 on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list. Found in 1988 and franchising only since 2011, the number of locations has grown from 17 in 2011 to the current total of 55, none of which are company-owned and all of which are located in the U.S.
10. Above Grade Level In-Home Tutoring
Above Grade Level In-Home Tutoring guarantees that its in-home, one-on-one tutoring methods will improve a student’s math or English grade by at least one full grade level, or 10 percentage points, if they complete 35 tutoring sessions following the individualized learning program. If that goal is not met, the student can receive an additional 15 hours of tutoring free of charge. Tutoring begins after a comprehensive online assessment to pinpoint learning needs is administered and a customized plan is developed based on the student’s school curriculum.
Founded in 2009 and franchising since then, there are currently 23 locations, none of which are company-owned and six of which are located outside the U.S.
An Important Note About Our Methodology
The franchises on this list were ranked according to the number of units in the franchise system. If you are a prospective franchisee searching for franchise opportunities that meet or exceed certain performance benchmarks for sales, profits, and return on investment, please check out this list of America’s Most Lucrative Franchises.