Tutoring businesses provide a valuable community service by supplementing student learning opportunities outside of class time and helping to instill effective study skills. Unfortunately, it is sometimes hard for tutoring businesses to simultaneously meet the needs of their students and their own financial obligations. To help encourage and support tutoring services, governments and private foundations award grants for tutoring businesses. Looking to grant guidelines and criteria is important for businesses contemplating a funding opportunity.

Upward Bound Program

The Upward Bound Program is a funding opportunity available to tutoring businesses from the U.S. Department of Education. Upward Bound supports efforts to encourage and facilitate postsecondary educational achievement among disadvantaged students. Upward Bound provides assistance to tutoring organizations and businesses that offer educational advancement for first-generation college students and military veterans. Upward Bound Program grants are awarded annually with deadlines in late summer or fall.

Student Support Services Grant

The Department of Education also awards grants for tutoring activities specific to individual institutions of higher education. The Student Support Services Grant is available to develop and implement tutoring programs at both private and public colleges that assist with academic coursework and career advising. To be eligible for the Student Support Services Grant, at least two-thirds of a program’s enrollment must consist of either disabled students or students from low-income families with no prior college graduates. Only academic institutions may apply, so tutoring businesses without an affiliation or partnership with a college or university may not be eligible for assistance from this program.

Gates Foundation Community Grants

The Gates Foundation is a major private supporter of grant programs in education and workforce development. The Gates Foundation provides grants that support schools, tutoring businesses and other educational programs through its United States Program. Grant recipients from the Gates Foundation in the past include tutoring businesses like Tutor.com, an online service that provides tutoring both for students and teachers. Gates Foundation educational grants are offered primarily to applicants in the Pacific Northwest region whose activities build constructive partnerships between schools and community.

State Supplemental Education Services

Many states provide grants for tutoring businesses and nonprofits under the supplemental education services requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. Local school districts fund supplemental education services providers approved by the state on a per-student basis. To be eligible for this support, a tutoring business must provide free educational assistance to low-income families and students. School districts only provide financial support from state SES programs to tutoring businesses that assist students enrolled a local public school. Those interested in becoming a supplemental education services provider must be approved by their state department of education and apply for funding with school districts in the area where they operate.