What if you can save hundreds of dollars on SAT tutoring by one weird trick? Try a different ZIP code.
When researching the Princeton Review website for SAT tutoring, four Harvard College students discovered that the site required a ZIP code be entered prior to learning the cost of the private online tutoring services. With this information, Keyon Vafa, Christian Haigh, Alvin Leung, and Noah Yonack tested 33,000 ZIP codes. The results? The Princeton Review would charge you from $2,760 to $3,240 for 24 hours of private online SAT tutoring depending on your ZIP code. The student researchers learned that it even made a difference whether you lived in ZIP codes 13901 or 13905 in Binghamton, N.Y., where you’re charged $2,760 versus paying $3,000 if you live in 13903 or 13904.
Their research, which appeared online in Technology Science, published by the Data Privacy Lab at Harvard University, was advanced by ProPublica’s data journalists Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu, and Julia Angwin, who published an accompanying paper in Technology Science that found areas with high Asian populations are 1.8 times more likely to be paying more for the tutoring services than similar areas without Asians.