Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Peer Tutor

By filling out a Peer Tutor Application, am I automatically a peer tutor?

No. There is an approval process which will determine if you will be accepted as a peer tutor. Peer tutors must be in good academic and student conduct standing with the college, and they must successfully complete the online peer tutor training to be eligible for this program. Additionally, peer tutors are only placed with students if a need for tutoring exists.

Do I receive pay for this work?

Yes, if you qualify for the federal work-study program . Paid work-study is awarded only to students who apply for financial aid, meet specific eligibility criteria, and who are enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits per term. If a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is on file, the Office of Academic Support will inform the Financial Aid office to review the peer tutor’s application for work-study eligibility. If a FAFSA does not exist, one must be completed in order to be considered for the federal work-study program.

What if I don’t qualify for the Work-Study Federal Aid Program, can I still be a peer tutor?

Yes, you can still be considered as a peer tutor. A student who is paid versus a student who is unpaid is treated equally, and is required to meet all of the same Peer Tutor Program requirements.

How many students will I tutor?

Peer tutors would only work with one student at a time, in one subject area. More seasoned peer tutors may be able to work with more than one student at the discretion of the Office of Academic Support.

Can I receive a letter of reference after I complete a peer tutoring assignment?

The Office of Academic Support will provide letters of reference after the peer tutor has completed the tutoring assignment successfully, upon request.

Do I have to meet with the student in person?

No. Since Empire State College students live all over the country, the primary mode of contact will be phone, e-mail, and other methods of electronic communication. Meeting in person is only encouraged if both the tutor and tutee agree to such a meeting, and if that meeting is cleared by the Office of Academic Support. If a face-to-face meeting does take place, we highly recommend that it takes place at a public area such as a library, café, or at one of the Empire State College regional centers. If the peer tutor is a work-study student, face-to-face tutoring can only take place at one of Empire State College's New York State Locations.

How many hours are required?

Typical hours normally run from two to three hours per week. Peer tutors may agree to more hours as long as it works within their schedules. All tutoring arrangements should be coordinated at days/times that work best for both the peer tutor and the tutee.

What is the benefit of tutoring?

Peer tutoring provides you the means to share your knowledge and skills with a fellow student; to make a difference; to add depth to your resume; to sharpen your interpersonal skills; to learn more about the subject matter and content; experience the teaching relationship; and, be a person who helped support the development of the Peer Tutor Program.

Take the Next Step

Ready to advance your education and career? There’s no time like the present. Apply now, or learn more about SUNY Empire at one of our information sessions.