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10 Things To Consider When Choosing a Vendor for High-Dosage Tutoring

March 2, 2022

Districts have a lot to consider when selecting a vendor that offers high-dosage tutoring. High-dosage tutoring, or HDT, is generally defined as 1:1 or small-group tutoring at least three times a week.

This research-backed intervention is among the most effective tools in education. High-dosage tutoring programs are one of K-12’s best bets for addressing the COVID slide, accelerating learning, and aiding in long-term recovery—especially for programs that meet the following evidence-based criteria.


On average, tutoring programs have a larger effect on academic achievement than roughly 85% of other educational interventions.

This is equivalent to moving a student from the 35th percentile of the achievement distribution to the 50th.



While high-dosage tutoring has the most robust base of evidence, it is challenging for districts to deploy these programs independently. Ideally, districts can leverage funds for programs that help scale HDT. The vendor they select must meet specific criteria for these HDT programs to provide the greatest impact for students.

We’ve created a downloadable checklist of 10 things to consider when selecting a vendor to simplify the acquisition process for districts. The checklist was created using the 10 evidence-based criteria for effective high-dosage tutoring. The list can be used as a resource when assessing and selecting vendors for HDT.

→ Download Now: The High-Dosage Tutoring Vendor Checklist

  1. Frequency: Tutoring is most likely to be effective when delivered in high doses: three or more sessions per week——or intensive, week-long, small--group programs. 

  2. Group size: Tutors can effectively support up to three or four students at a time. One-to-one tutoring is likely most effective. 

  3. Personnel: The skills required for tutoring are different from the skills required for classroom teaching, meaning a wide variety of tutors can successfully improve student outcomes if they receive adequate training. 

  4. Focus: Researchers have found tutoring to be effective at all grade levels. For reading-focused tutoring, evidence is strongest for early grades. In math, there's a greater body of evidence indicating tutoring's positive impact for older grades.

  5. Measurement: Tutoring programs that support data use and ongoing informal assessments allow tutors to more effectively tailor instruction for individual students. 

  6. Relationships: Ensuring students have a consistent tutor may facilitate positive tutor-student relationships and a stronger understanding of students’ learning needs. 

  7. Curriculum: High-dosage tutoring that is directly tied to classroom content has the strongest evidence of effectiveness and allows tutors to reinforce and support teachers’ classroom instruction. 

  8. Scheduling: Tutoring interventions that are conducted during the school day tend to result in greater learning gains than those that take place after school or during the summer. 

  9. Delivery Mode: Both in-person and online tutoring can be effective. Online tutoring can help lower costs and provide stronger matches between student needs and tutor skill sets by tapping into a large tutor supply. 

  10. Prioritization: Programs that target lower-performing students can result in a negative stigma where tutoring is perceived as a punishment. Prioritizing by grade level or school can help show that tutoring is for everyone.

Selecting the right vendor for high-dosage tutoring can positively impact your students’ learning. When considering vendors, use our checklist to ensure your prospective partner meets the evidence-based criteria that will lead to the greatest possible outcome for you and your students. 

You can learn more about the research on high-dosage tutoring, how to leverage federal funds for HDT, and how Paper aligns with these criteria by downloading our high-dosage tutoring ebook.

About Paper

Paper partners with school districts to deliver 1:1 tutoring that is equitable, scalable, and cost-effective. Students get unlimited 24/7 live help and writing feedback, teachers get insights to tackle individual learning gaps, and administrators get actionable data to inform strategic decisions. Paper’s multilingual tutors add an extra layer of support across all content areas and grade levels, in and out of the classroom—so students always have access to expert help exactly when, where, and how they need it.

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