November: Budgeting for Credit Card Fees

November: Budgeting for Credit Card Fees

For some schools, one of the many benefits of using a tuition management provider is so the school does not have to absorb the cost of a credit card transaction for tuition and/or fee payments.  While there are many “merchant service providers” available from which to choose if the school has been absorbing the transaction fee, […]

October: Stop Charging Late Fees

October: Stop Charging Late Fees

Over the past 10 years, I’ve spoken to hundreds of school leaders.  Recently, several schools have told me they’ve dropped their tuition management provider because parents would complain that the company charged them a fee to give them a call because the company hadn’t received their payment, and they paid their tuition before the due […]

September: Your School’s New Revenue Timeline Means Your Budgeting Process Starts Next Month

September: Your School’s New Revenue Timeline Means Your Budgeting Process Starts Next Month

If you’re used to starting to work on your school’s budget for the following school year after the holiday/winter break, that’s going to have to change if you expect to continue to have a viable and vibrant tuition-charging school. Times have changed.  As was shared last month, parents want answers now.  They don’t want to […]

August: How Long Will Parents Wait For a Decision To Be Made?

August: How Long Will Parents Wait For a Decision To Be Made?

I was thinking of calling this article “IH82W8,” which I once saw as the license plate of the automobile ahead of me while stopped at a traffic light. After smiling to myself regarding the irony of the situation, I began to think about the driver. How old was he? Why did he hate to wait? […]

July: Market Your School’s Hourly Rate

July: Market Your School’s Hourly Rate

There are two ways schools post their tuition on their respective Web sites, and frankly, both ways can turn most families away from considering your school as the educational environment for their children. The first is the complete disclosure of the tuition schedule, showing first child tuition, and the lowered rates for the second, third, […]

June:  The Tuition/Financial Aid Matrix

June: The Tuition/Financial Aid Matrix

While many faith-based high schools have significant alumni support, and have development or advancement directors to coordinate activities that are designed to engage potential donors and continually engage current donors, elementary schools seem to struggle with the fact that they NEED a development or advancement director to do the same.  Schools will say they don’t […]

May: Balance Your Tuition’s Cost and Market Bases

May: Balance Your Tuition’s Cost and Market Bases

Market Bases?  Tuition’s Cost?  What do those phrases mean? We use lots of phrases in school leadership today which we think mean the same thing, but they actually have different meanings.  Or, there are phrases that we use consistently, but are perceived differently by parents and other constituent groups, simply because people are different, and […]

April: The Importance of Offering Parents Customized Payment Plans

April: The Importance of Offering Parents Customized Payment Plans

Remember when “swiping” was a bad thing?  20 years ago, if someone swiped a card, that meant someone didn’t pay for a birthday or anniversary greeting from the local supermarket or drug store.  Today, swiping a card is how someone pays for that greeting card. Lots of things have changed in the past 20 years.  […]

March:  Collect Your School’s Tuition and Fee Revenue on One Platform

March: Collect Your School’s Tuition and Fee Revenue on One Platform

I like looking up quotations on the Internet, just to see to whom they’re attributed.  Both Benjamin Franklin and Charles A. Goodrich are credited with “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”  Actually, Goodrich’s motto was first published as, “Have a place for every thing, and keep every thing in its proper place.” […]

February: Build Financial Aid and Endowment Funds Into Your School’s Budget

February: Build Financial Aid and Endowment Funds Into Your School’s Budget

This is the time of the year when schools are preparing, reviewing, and, perhaps, finalizing their budgets for the coming school year.  Consequently, it’s also the time when many schools see how many students have registered to attend for the coming school, and then make the decision as to whether the school will continue to […]

January: Charge Tuition Over Nine Months

January: Charge Tuition Over Nine Months

Almost every school I visit offers parents a standard monthly tuition payment plan that spans 10 months.  When I ask why that’s so, these are the usual answers: “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” “Parents like it.” “That’s how long our students are in school.  They start in August, and the last payment is […]

December: Customers Will Pay for Great “Experiences”

December: Customers Will Pay for Great “Experiences”

I love visiting with schools, and participating in some lively discussions about how the rising cost of tuition has affected their enrollment, making it more and more difficult to survive from one year to the next. Then I ask the “wicked” (to use an adjective from the New England area of our country) question: “How […]