The cost of living in Australia is rising rapidly and expected to continue to grow throughout 2023. Nine consecutive interest rate hikes and the highest inflation rate in more than 30 years have put families under significant financial pressure as the cost of everything from groceries to petrol, utilities, healthcare, rent and mortgage payments skyrockets.

With household budgets stretched and no relief in sight, many families are finding it challenging to meet their tuition fee commitments. According to Finder’s 2023 Parenting Report, 17% of Australian parents are considering moving their children from private to public schools to reduce their education expenses.

For this reason, it’s vital that schools manage tuition fee payments in a way that’s sensitive to families while ensuring their collection rate is maintained.

1. Communicate your fee policy and make expectations clear

Your school’s tuition fee policy should be communicated regularly and available online for families to review anytime. It should be transparent and actively enforced. Your hardship policy should only be shared on an as-needs basis with families in genuine need.

2. Manage hardship sensitively on a case-by-case basis

Each family’s financial situation is unique and should be managed accordingly. However, skipping an entire term or semester’s fees can make it challenging for struggling families to catch up. If possible, it’s best to negotiate for reduced payments to be made on the regular due date.

3. Make it easy for families to pay tuition fees

Tuition management software with a self-service portal makes it easy for families to manage their fee payments in a way that suits them. By offering flexible due dates within predetermined parameters and accepting a wide range of payment methods, your school can make it more likely that fees will be paid in full and on time.

4. Manage arrears professionally and consistently

One of the most compelling benefits of tuition management software is that it automates arrears management. Automatic reminders when payments are missed means most late fees are paid without any manual intervention from your business office, giving them more time to work with families experiencing hardship.

FACTS offers powerful tuition management capability that empowers schools to implement a best practice approach to tuition fees. More than 11,500 K-12 schools globally trust FACTS’s suite of school and financial management solutions to help them elevate the education experience.

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