It seems a day doesn’t go by without the mention of rising student debt. While options are limited, the payment plan is one that offers students and families’ flexibility and a way to make tuition payments without depending entirely on student loans.
As Nancy Mann Jackson makes clear in this concise and informative eBook “How to Make the Most of Your Payment Plan,” payment plans can be “a lifeline for many families, while also offering predictable revenue cycles for university business offices.”
Flexibility is the key for both students and schools.
There are three primary choices, pay as you go, education loans that are not due until the student graduates and the monthly payment plan. The payment plan allows students and their families to take into consideration, cash flow and household budgets. Schools need options too. While collecting tuition up front is obviously ideal, having the consistent predictable cash flow that results from the monthly payment plan can be equally valuable. Still, as Mann Jackson notes, while most schools now offer a payment plan option, these programs are often inconsistently promoted.
More than Just another Payment Tool
Mann Jackson makes a strong case for the payment plan as more than just a tool for paying tuition. She sees it is a way for schools to increase access to education and makes a strong case for the monthly payment plan when properly promoted and endorsed, as offering schools a competitive advantage, and even a recruiting tool.
Mutual benefits of the payment plan are that students are less likely to endure the stress of late fees and having classes put on hold. These are of course advantages to faculty and administrators as well. Depending on whether a school’s payment plan is internal or offered through an external provider, there are additional opportunities for streamlining processes and saving valuable staff time in the business office can result in significant savings.
Internal vs. External
Mann Jackson debates the pros and cons between internal and externally managed plans: The question of revenue generation through enrollment and late fees, as well as the staffing model and best practices for increasing early adoption. Regardless of whether a school chooses to manage their own plan or outsource, Mann Jackson is adamant that the payment plan must have a strong marketing campaign supported and endorsed by the school, if it’s going to be truly effective.
Learn more by downloading the free eBook today.