Complaints & Reviews

illegal robocalls

I have received numerous illegal robocalls from your "center" while I have no children and do not intend to enroll anyone. The last call was before 8am; do something about the criminal activity taking place in your name.

This is completely unacceptable and attempting to call back only gets an automated system "Thank you for calling Sylvan". The number in question was [protected]

bad choice... no grace... don't make the same mistake we did.

Whatever you do don't pay in full! We started our services at the Shawnee Ks location a week before the 15th of the month which is when you have to give notice if you are not going to continue. After 10 hours were used we determined it was not a good fit for our son. Unfortunately we didn't give notice by the 15th (which was a week before we started) and they took an entire month of our upfront payment which was ~$1000. Huge mistake on our part for thinking the owners (out of the Overland Park, KS office) would give us some grace and refund us 2 months back.

I would really consider a private tutor you can pay as you go vs. signing your life away at Sylvan. We (nor any of our friends) will recommend any of the greater KC area Sylvan Learning Centers EVER!



I wanted to really like this place for tutoring of my child. I found out that all the students do is work on...

Closed - no refund

On Dec 31, 2013, Eugene Sylvan closed their doors without notice - after I had paid over $4, 000.00 for...

Not Trustworthy as a company

Sylvan is sold out to franchisees. A lot of people don't know that. I didn't know people were paying for a reputable name, whether they themselves were reputable or not.

My daughter actually got a good education at the Longmont and Boulder, CO centers, even though we suspect she unnecessarily repeated things. She had a very good teacher.

However, Sylvan, in general, doesn't keep their promises and please don't trust them.

My daughter took Algebra 1 for credit, and it was approved by her school to do. At almost the end of her course in Longmont, CO she was informed that the center would be closing and she would be moved to Boulder to finish. She went to Boulder and finished, and had the same teacher that moved there, too, and the director there said he would get the transcript to the school.

At that time, the Boulder center was closing down, too, and all the people there were upset at losing their jobs.

My daughter went on to school and they allowed her to take Algebra 2 the following year. It wasn't until now that she is a senior that they informed us that Sylvan never gave them the paperwork. I do fault the school for waiting so long to let us know, because if we knew the year before, we could have enrolled her in different classes to make up for it. We had no way of knowing they didn't receive the transcript, because they allowed her into Algebra 2, and she finished it.

We contacted Sylvan's head office in Baltimore because the franchisee of this area completely closed down all his centers. The four centers had been owned by H&S Educational Enterprises, Inc., which is owned Bruce Hassan, Sherry Hassan, and Kristin Smith of St. Augustine, FL. I do not know if they own Sylvans in Florida, but they owned the ones here in Colorado, and will not acknowledge my emails.

The head office said they only recieved the progress reports as far as Longmont, but none of the Boulder paperwork. Last week, they agreed to send the transcript with a lower grade taking into account the part of math they didn't have credit for. So basically, they were averaging the 0% into the 100%s.

We didn't like that, but if she doesn't get some type of credit, she doesn't graduate.

Today, Nina at the information desk contacted us to tell us they changed their minds and couldn't in good consciousness give her a transcript based on something they didn't have, even though the director of this frachise area gave them a call and told them what happened. They want to do testing on Sarah (at my cost) and if she doesn't do well on material she studied back in 2009, I am fully confident they are going to offer their services, for more money, of course. I don't trust them; I don't trust their test to be honest and I refuse to have her take more hours from them. Fat chance of us paying them even more money.

In addition to to the principle of it, we've been affected by the recession greatly and cannot afford to pay them more money. They know our daughter is in a bad situation and feel we'll pay to get her out of it.

I don't trust their testing because every time my daughter took a test, they decided she didn't do well enough and that she needed to repeat almost everything at least once, and sometimes twice. That's how our bill got so elevated. We bought into it because she has never been strong in Math and thought maybe she WAS doing badly. Yet she went on to high school Algebra 2 in a highly rated school, did well and never had to repeat anything.

Apparently, according to a woman named Glenda at the main office in Baltimore, they needed three or four days to sift through paperwork the franchisee 'might' have sent in when they closed, and it 'depended on what condition they sent it in'. It totally flabbergasted me that there isn't a requirement for submitting paperwork regularly and in a certain order, or when a franchise closes.

They didn't locate any paperwork, and would only go with the numbers that had been entered into the computer system, which was only the work through the end of the Longmont center.

So...basically I paid over $8, 000 for a product I didn't recieve and my daughter gets to pay for the mistake by not graduating with her friends and being embarassed. She is devastated and she worked the hardest of all on this. Three days a week for two hours at a time for almost a whole year.

The main office blames the franchisee, and the franchisee won't speak to us. It is the main offices' issue, though, in my opinion. It was their Sylvan name we trusted...and no longer trust. They want to sell their franchises, but they don't want to be responsible for them. If your franchisee screws you over...tough luck.

Even getting my money back for a product I did'nt recieve won't take the pain away from my daughter not being able to graduate. They have even refused to do that; they only refer us to 'Legal'.

My daughter is sweet and kind to everyone, shy and sensitive, and she works so hard at everything, even things she finds especially difficult. I've been blessed to have such an usual child who didn't take me through the teenage trauma of most girls...and I am more angry than I can ever convey.

Don't buy the lie that they care about you or their students. You are just money to them, and if you aren't paying at the moment, you don't mattter.

I am posting this everywhere I can because I think people should be warned. You are putting your child in the hands of a franchisee that you know NOTHING about. It isn't the same thing as eating a burger at a McDonald's franchise or playing a game at at Laser Tag franchise. It is much more important than that. Unfortunately, Sylvan doesn't run franchises and keep records with the same diligence and responsibility McDonald's does.

Ask the teachers at school for recommendations for a tutor that other kids have worked with and had good experiences with, or ask other parents. It'll be cheaper and more reliable, and since the teachers and parents aren't usually making a living off selling the product, it will be more honest.

And it should be a lot cheaper to find a tutor that way. We began by being told this was going to cost us $4, 500 for the school credit, and it kept elevating to almost $9, 000. They knew we needed it as a credit, and took advantage of that, and are still trying to.

I am posting this everywhere a review is possible, just to warn people. The reason you read good reviews in one place, and bad ones in others is because the franchisees are all different people and the company as a whole is not cohesive or discerning.

We are here to help

  • 16 years' experience in successful complaint resolution
  • Each complaint is handled individually by highly qualified experts
  • Honest and unbiased reviews
  • Last but not least, all our services are absolutely free

Employees Treated Poorly

The owners of this Sylvan are greedy and treat their employees like crap. They get as much out of them for...

Rip off

Sylvan Learning Center is a ripoff. They play off of parents' complaints and have them enthusiastically sign on for tutoring, which is what happened to us at the San Antonio, TX office. Well, once they get your money, the directors you spoke to could care less the quality of tutoring received or the guarantees they broke. We decided not to go for their loan, pay cash, but half up front. Well, that was the best thing we did because our daughter's reading skills never increased because the tutors were reading to her, instead of allowing her to practice reading. We stopped going after 28 hours since it's basically a waste of time. When I asked my daughter what she did, she would say they just read to her or finished her homework. Our daughter's reading and math skills developed when we spent more time with her every night. Therefore, we're not paying for a service never received, now we have the tasteless San Antonio Director calling us demanding payment.

Parents: Take the time to work with your children or pay their existing teacher to do some one-on-one tutoring. Sylvan is just another shady corporation trying to make a dime off of concerned parents.

  • Mh
    mhearn Jul 29, 2015

    The parent that wrote this complaint was upset because I called her about her bounced check- she never paid a penny. She changed her phone number - but her ex-husband who had paid his half of the bill and was very happy with our services, gave me her new phone number because he knew what she was doing was dishonest.
    This parent never expressed any concerns and in fact when in the office for a progress conference said she was happy with her daughter's progress. She is just upset because we were trying to get her to pay her bill.

    0 Votes
  • Ra
    Ras2189 Dec 16, 2015

    Not sure about the specific case above but in general Sylvan is a rip off for parents and the teachers that work there. Old copyright free curriculum that doesn't meet individualized needs, policies that ensure no kid gets too much attention, almost no corporate support as far as training goes, underpaid and undervalued teaching staff = one hot mess. Forget it parents get a private tutor.


    0 Votes

Stay away

When we called to make an appointment for an assessment, they asked for a credit card number. We had no papers, nothing in writing, we certainly never signed or agreed to anything with our quick phone call to make an appointment. We called back the next day to cancel and they told us that they "may have forgotten to mention" that the fee was not refundable. They are refusing to refund the assessment fee when we called to cancel withing 24 hours of making the appointment and weeks before the scheduled appointment. The woman on the phone insists that only "corporate" can issue a refund. She has offered some free hours "when you sign up" for tutoring as if this is some kind of reasonable offer to us. We have no intention of ever going there! Free hours on top of a big contract is hardly a solution to this. Sylvan is a scam.

Very poor place

Sylvan learning center did not do what they contracted to do in my daughter's ACT preparation. At least one of the two or three teachers who were signed up to come to Sylvan to teach her did not show up. Also about half of them were poorly qualified to teach the subjects they were supposed to know. The "practice tests" they gave her were nothing like what the actual exam was, so she had a lot of surprises to deal with on the actual test day. In summary, the ACT prep class was nowhere near worth the 700 dollars we paid for it. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY THERE!!!

  • Fl
    Florence P.Parker Jun 12, 2013

    what I don't get is this is a center to help you learn to read and spell. I am an adult and old enough to know when something
    is not working. My teacher was great and I would work with him again but the people working on my listen need help. They had no clue on how to work with an adult. How to plan my listen. It took them a month and a half to work out the bugs which means I wasted all that money for nothing and now after three months they still can't get the bugs out. I had planned to be in this program for six months but that will not happen. You need a reading listen for adults and that means you do have to go back to the first grade but when you see that the person is working a little faster then you thought move them up. I was still working in the first grade even when my teach new I needed to move up but what I found out is that he does not plan my listen and they don't ask him about me, which he is the person who knows me best. I don't get it. I loved working with him but now I have to find another learning center to do what sylvan could not. I don't have a lot of money for this and now I have to start all over again with another center. Sylvan you need to look into this.
    Florence P.Parker

    0 Votes

They don't care

We are very disappointed in the administrative staff at the Hilliard Oh location. Please beware. Their hours are very limited making it difficult to take class 2/3 times per week. Our child rarely had the same teacher and when we saw no improvement in grades they did not honor their agreement. We did find a tutor for half the price and we are now seeing a great improvement in alegbra. You would be better off finding a tutor via the classified section then trusting either Sharon at that location.

The attitude of the administrative staff was very negative and indifferent.

Not what children should ever be exposed to.

Failure to live up to their guarantee

Can not get anyone to talk about refunding the unused sessions as was stated in a email. I am paying a loan that will take 8 years and I won't be able to pay for eduacation after high school. If they would just refund what wasn't used I wouldn't fill so angry . Even though they failed teach him .He tested lower after a full summer of work, 2hrs a day 5 days a week .After they said they couldn't tutor him in his classes when school started. He needed the time to do his homework. ANGRY!

Beware and stay away

On 1/23/2009 I signed by 4th grade son up for the recommended 100 hour program to bring him up to grade level...


My son failed 8th grade miserably so my husband and I decided to hold him back, change schools and get him a...


Sylvan Learning Center in Lincoln Village, Chicago, treats its employees poorly and takes advantage of it...