Is Your Tuition Payment Process Hurting or Helping Enrollment and Retention?

As prospective students and parents consider your school, you may not have thought about how the payment process might be a deciding factor. In today’s busy world, no one has the time to wait in line to pay tuition at the registrar’s office each semester. A complicated and painful online process isn’t much better either. Either of these can easily create a negative view of your school.

However, here’s how a seamless online tuition management system can boost enrollment and student retention in your favor!

Plastic, not Paper! It’s a reality that most Millennials don’t own paper checks, much less know how to balance a checkbook. Many of them rely solely on online banking, with no real reason to ever visit a branch in person. By offering the option to pay with plastic (debit and credit cards… or by linking their bank account) your school eliminates the inconvenience of dropping off a check in person or placing one in the mail. A seamless online payment portal that allows payment through multiple devices (computer, mobile, tablet) will allow your school to stay up to date with the financial habits of today’s students.

Empower Students with a User-Friendly Payment Portal – When invoices and payments can be stored and accessed online, it puts power into your students’ hands, helping them feel in control. No more waiting on hold to talk to someone in the billing office and no more misplaced paper statements. Rather the student is in the driver’s seat with all of their information available at their fingertips 24/7. Empowering students is a key factor in student retention.

The Cost of Education – Compared to the index of inflation, the cost of education has ballooned in the last forty years. It is no longer readily affordable. Many students must take out loans for school in addition to dipping into their current savings or income. Online tuition offers two helpful approaches. The first is that your school can offer manageable payment plans, including payments that are deducted automatically from the student’s linked bank account. A large bill is much more manageable when spread out into smaller, monthly payments. Payment plans are also significantly cheaper than the interest charged on a student loan. Schools that offer a recurring auto-pay option often see reduced delinquent payments and increased tuition revenue. Secondly, allowing students to pay with a credit card take pressure off of waiting for Friday’s paycheck to hit their account before writing a check or paying with a debit card.

Keeping up to date with a user-friendly online payment process is important for your school’s image as well as student enrollment and retention. How do your current online payment processes compare with our suggestions above?