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ABOVE GRADE LEVEL Franchise: A Great Tutoring Business to Own?

Above Grade Level franchise owners provides tutorial and enrichment learning programs to students in their homes. Is the Above Grade Level franchise a great tutoring business to own?  What should those considering this investment know about Above Grade Level and its franchise opportunity?  See what others are saying and share your opinions below.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  Above Grade Level franchise owners provide after-school tutoring services in language, math, science, writing, ACT & SAT test preparation and more.

Above Grade LevelAccording to Above Grade Level franchise marketing:

[The Above Grade Level franchise] is an opportunity to work from home, with a flexible schedule, organizing one-to-one tutoring that takes place in the Student’s home. This opportunity is for the individual who enjoys working with people and helping students to reach their potential through education.

According to the 2015 Above Grade Level Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), “The total investment necessary to begin operation of an Above Grade Level franchise ranges from $51,665 to $76,995. This includes $39,895 to $54,895 that must be paid to Above Grade Level LLC or its affiliates..”

Is the Above Grade Level franchise a great business to own?  Are Above Grade Level franchisees successful… and happy?  What are the potential pros and cons of owning an Above Grade Level franchise?

We invite those familiar with Above Grade Level franchise program (franchisees, instructors, franchise or corporate employees, parents, educators) to share their opinions – positive and negative – with a comment below.

Anonymous comments are welcome; however, please use a valid email address (won’t be publicly visible).

Above Grade Level Franchise Advantages – Opinions Invited

Above Grade Level franchise marketing claims:

As a franchise owner you will enjoy:

  • Simple, effective systems for tutoring, marketing, sales and operations
  • Extensive, proprietary curriculum, customized to the educational requirements of each student
  • An exclusive and protected territory in your community
  • A proven, time tested business model proven to attract and retain students
  • A low overhead model with no store front, no rent and tremendous growth potential

Do you know of other benefits of owning Above Grade Level franchise? Share a comment below.

Above Grade Level Franchise Disadvantages Include a 60% Franchise Turnover Rate

Do you know of potential disadvantages of Above Grade Level franchise program?  Please share below.

What accounts for the extremely high franchise turnover rate?

Item 20 of the 2015 Above Grade Level Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) reveals a concerning number of franchise closures & terminations, and franchisee turnover.

During the years 2009 – 2014, there were a total of 38 active franchise agreements.

23, or 61%, of these franchises ceased operation (21) or were transferred to other owners (2).

Above Grade Level Franchise Turnover

2010  2011  2012 2013 2014 Total Agreements 2009-14
Ceased operations
Turnover Rate
# Franchise outlets open at end of each year 7 13 18 20 17  38  23  60.52%
Centers Terminated 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-renewals 0 0 0 0 0 0
Reacquired by franchisor 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ceased Operations – other reasons 0 1 6 5 9 21
Transferred to new owners* 0 2 0 0 0 2

Sources:  2009-2011 Above Grade Level 2012 FDD, 2012-1014 Above Grade Level 2015 FDD

* In some cases, a transfer could mean a franchise was sold at a profit, but it often means that an owner exited the system at a loss.

Why have more than half of the Above Grade Level franchises that have opened ceased operation?

What steps has the Above Grade Level franchisor taken to stem franchise failures?

Should Above Grade Level LLC and Managing Partner Daniel Herrick continue to sell franchises with such a high franchise failure rate?

Tutoring Franchises Average a High 25.52% Turnover Rate

Unfortunately, it appears that the entire tutoring services and supplemental education segment of the franchise industry is suffering from high franchisee turnover.

The ten largest franchises in this segment average 25.52% turnover, with several (Tutor Doctor, Sylvan, & Club Z) exceeding 30%.

As high as the turnover of other tutoring franchises is, none come close to that of Above Grade Level’s 61%.

Tutoring Franchise Turnover Rates* Turnover Rate 2012-2015 Closed or Transferred 2012-2014 Turnover Rate 2012-2015
Kumon 20.52% Eye Level 22.6%
Sylvan 31.17% Tutor Doctor 31.8%
Club Z 30.71% LearningRx 26.95%
Mathnasium 17% JEI Learning Centers 20.23%
Huntington 28.9% The Tutoring Center 25.33%

Are tutoring franchises – in general – not thriving in today’s marketplace?

Is the tutoring market overbuilt and saturated with tutoring franchises?

Should prospective franchisees stay away from education franchises in general?

Share your opinion below.  Company responses, clarifications and corrections are invited and encouraged.

Data Sources for Above Grade Level and other tutoring franchises are the 2015 Franchise Disclosure Documents, or FDDS, of the respective companies.




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Is the EYE LEVEL LEARNING Franchise a Great Business to Own?

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TUTOR DOCTOR Franchise: A Great Business to Own?

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TAGS: Above Grade Level, Above Grade Level franchise, Above Grade Level tutoring franchise, Above Grade Level franchise complaints, Above Grade Level tutoring franchise, Daniel Herrick, Dan Herrick, Tutoring franchise, Education franchise, Education franchise opportunity, Education franchise complaints, unhappy franchisee

2 thoughts on “ABOVE GRADE LEVEL Franchise: A Great Tutoring Business to Own?

  • Danae Maxwell

    I am aware of several unique circumstances that have caused some of the high turnover of owners. Six of the owners that terminated had severe medical issues. One of the owners died. One had a chronic illness. Three battled with cancer and one had a family member battling a life threatening illness. When you are dealing with such a small group of owners this can make the percentages look a lot worse than they are.

  • Frank Kusluski

    Back in 2012 I was an Above Grade Level franchisee for about one year. I spent several thousands of dollars on advertising but still only gained one customer (student). To be successful in this business be warned that you must spend many many hours networking which I am not good at. You must almost do your research to see if parents are willing to pay the high price of a in-home tutor versus taking their child to somewhere like Kumon which is less expensive. I paid $39,000 for the franchise using my 401K money – now I am desperately trying to get some of it back!!! I have tried to sell it online but my ad has generated very little interest. I have sent emails to the CEO of Above Grade Level asking what my options are in terms of getting some of my $39,000 back but he ignores my emails!

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