Your school accounting office probably sees its fair share of delinquent tuition payments. In order to reduce tuition delinquency, consider the following strategies.

Stay Proactive. Taking measures in preventing delinquency is a simple step with the greatest payoff. To help students stay on top of due dates, Compuwerx offers automated email invoices sent directly to the student with a link to “pay now” or “schedule a payment.” We also allow school offices to offer a variety of convenient payment options: credit cards, debit, echeck, and payments online and by phone. Encourage your students to enroll in automatic recurring payments that will be accepted directly from their credit card or bank account

Reach out to the student directly. Once a student misses a payment, your office must respond appropriately. A friendly phone call accompanying a bill can accomplish a lot more than simply a paper invoice. Let the student know you are willing to work with them. Oftentimes a student is dealing with an unanticipated – and hopefully short-term – financial situation. Consider tweaking or customizing a payment plan to encourage the student to continue making payments.

Remind students of credit consequences. Carrying delinquent payments on one’s credit report can be greatly harmful to your students. It is in their best interest to stay current on their payments. Dealing with their current obligations is a positive step in keeping a healthy credit report that will affect them down the road and into their adult life. If your school offers student financial counseling, this can be another touchpoint that also allows you to act as an advocate for your student.

Continue contact with your delinquent accounts. If a student is willing to chip away at their past due account, you can avoid sending it to collections. Consider setting your payment plans to end at least one month before the final day of the semester so that you have additional time to collect past due payments before students leave for the summer. Make sure that any payment agreements get put into writing. It often helps to give your student the benefit of the doubt when it comes to a missed payment, and your office should never resort to angry or personal attacks. However, subsequent communications can remind the student of the financial and legal consequences of a delinquent account.