Most colleges and universities have a payment plan in place to allow students and families to pay throughout the semester without penalties. But for many institutions, these plans are used infrequently and not consistently promoted to students and their parents.
In this latest e-book, we explore how making the payment plan a priority can benefit both students and the institution. Here are four reasons colleges and universities should be paying more attention to their payment plans.
1. Boost student access. For many students and potential students, graduating college with a pile of debt is unappealing and overwhelming. And paying a lump sum at the beginning of each semester simply isn’t feasible. But in many cases, those students and their families may be able to “pay as they go,” making a monthly tuition payment part of their monthly budget. “For some students, a payment plan helps them figure out a way to make college work,” says Marc Maniatis, director of student accounts and risk manager at the University of New Haven.
2. Improve financial management. When students opt to pay for college with a monthly payment plan, college and university business offices can expect a consistent infusion of cash each month. Often, those payments are automated. That predictable stream of regular receivables can make it easier for business offices to manage revenue and plan for upcoming expenses.
3. Connect proactively. Communicate regularly with new students and parents. When college and university staff members are committed to promoting their institution’s payment plan, they spend quality time with new students and parents every semester. They may be presenting about the plan in a meeting for incoming families or manning a booth at an opening weekend expo. Regardless of how the interaction happens, they’re spending meaningful time with their constituents, building relationships and receiving feedback that can help them to perform their jobs better.
4. Help shorten graduation times. Traditionally, when students’ tuition payments are not made on time, their accounts are put on hold and they are unable to register for the next semester of classes until the balance is paid. The inability to register or the practice of registering late can often lead to students sitting out of classes for a semester or not getting a spot in the classes they need, drawing out the amount of time they spend in college. Students who participate in a payment plan are able to make monthly payments throughout the semester without a late fee or an account hold, so they are always able to register for the next semester of classes on time. This helps keep more students on track to obtain the classes they need, stay on schedule and graduate on time.
To learn more about best practices for payment plans and why you should pay more attention to your institution’s payment plan, read the free e-book, Helping Students, Helping Institutions: How to Make the Most of Your Payment Plan.
Tuition Management Systems (TMS) is the sponsor of this post. The sources who contributed ideas to this post do not endorse or recommend any commercial products or services, including those of TMS. All information and opinions of the contributors are provided for informational purposes only. As with any other service you seek, the recipient of the information is responsible for conducting appropriate research and making relevant decisions. TMS neither endorses, has any responsibility for, nor exercises control over the views of any contributor to this article or the accuracy of the information provided by any of them.