If your school doesn’t offer payment plans, now, more than ever, is the time to do so. Because of Covid-19, more students and their families are experiencing financial hardship or uncertainty. Flexibility within tuition payment plans is another key benefit that schools can offer during these challenging times.
Flexibility to choose from multiple plans or flexibility within plans is important for students. The goal is for a student to choose a plan that can be customized to their circumstances. This provides a sense of ownership and responsibility which contributes to reduced delinquency rates. Not sure where to begin? Some examples of flexibility are as follows:
- Due dates for the semester’s plan are chosen ahead of time as the 1st or 15th of the month.
- Students can choose to have tuition spread out between three, four, or five payments.
- Allow students with delinquent accounts the ability to enroll in payment plans as an alternative to collections.
- Allow students an extra month to get their finances in order before the first payment is due.
- Extend cutoff dates for payment plan enrollment.
- Consider rolling housing and other on-campus costs into the payment plan.
Students can benefit greatly from payment plans. Student loans come with high interest rates and accrue interest immediately. However, tuition payment plans are interest-free, require no credit check, and usually involve a one-time enrollment fee. A cost analysis shows incredible savings for students who can reduce or eliminate their student loans by taking advantage of a payment plan.
Payment plans benefit both students and your school by increasing enrollment retention. Students on payment plans can still register for the next semester while continuing to make payments towards their current balance.
We encourage all schools to look at their current tuition payment plan offerings and evaluate whether they provide the flexibility and customization desired by students during the Covid-19 pandemic.