This post looks at policy relating to charging and collecting tuition.
When charging for your services, you pretty much have control over what you do: will you charge by the day, week, month, or year? How will you allow payments to be made – weekly, monthly, one-time lump sum? What ways can payments be made – check, cash, credit card, online billing? There are many services that can process payments and remind families that tuition is due; they generally do have a fee, so that will need to be factored into your operating budget.
If you operate a drop-in program, charging by the day or week might make more sense for your program. If your program has a set attendance schedule for students, a yearly tuition schedule might fit your needs, with payments being expected every month.
Some programs charge for the upcoming week, while others charge for the previous week. There’s no right way to decide which you want to do; charging for an upcoming week makes sure that there’s money in the school account sooner but might require changes if a child attended more or less than expected, while charging for the previous week means that the hours charged for have already happened and have a record. What will your refund policy be? Do families get prorated tuition for sick days (that is, if they’ve already paid for a day, but a child is sick and doesn’t attend?)
Where To Include
At Playvolution HQ, we recommend programs have three handbooks–a Parent Handbook, a Staff Handbook, and an Operating Handbook. Consider adding this policy to your Operating Handbook.
- Be sure to keep records of payments received and provide parents with receipts for their payments. These records are important for tax purposes- both for the program and for the families.
- If families are expected to drop off payment physically, how will you ensure that it is collected safely and securely? Explicitly state who can receive tuition payments or where payments are to be dropped off.
- What forms of payment will you accept? Checks, cash, direct deposit, and online payments are all viable options. Will you offer discounts for automated and/or advanced payments?
- What will you do if a family gets behind on their bill? At what point do you deny or terminate service to families that fail to pay?
Disclaimer: These are sample policies intended for use as a guide in policy development. Your program’s policies should be unique to your program and reflect the program’s culture, practices, and the regulations in your area.
Fees will be due at the time of registration. The fees assure your child a place in the class as well as covering the purchase of art/learning center supplies during the school year. Tuition is due by the 5th of the month for part -time preschoolers and Friday prior to the week of service for full-time preschoolers. A late fee of $5.00 will be added to late tuition payments. If payments become more than two weeks delinquent, your child will not be permitted to return to class and his or her spot may be filled. Once the account is paid in full and based on availability of classroom space your child may or may not be allowed to re-enter in the program.
We understand that circumstances arise that may make it difficult to make payments on time, if you are having difficulties please contact the business office.
Recurring payments may be set up using a debit or credit card. See the Guiding Star office for the necessary paperwork.
Guiding Star Preschool, Missouri, USA
Rock Academy Preschool uses the services of FACTS to collect tuition. The FACTS account must be set up prior to the first day of enrollment. An annual service fee will be charged from FACTS directly from your account. FACTS will assess a missed payment fee for each missed payment.
One annual tuition payment may be made for the entire year. A Deferred Payment Plan (DPP) may also be chosen in lieu of one annual payment. If the DPP plan is chosen, monthly tuition is automatically withdrawn by FACT Tuition Management Company on the 5th of the month from the checking or savings account given. Account statements/receipts are available and will be issued when requested. Proof of payment for tax purposes are reflected in your online statement and will be sent out annually by the Academy business office. The Rock Academy Early Education Center will sign flex benefit statements for the responsible party that paid in full or signed the FACTS agreement for the amount automatically deducted only on a monthly basis.
No reduction in tuition will be given for school holidays, professional development days, family vacations, and absences due to illnesses or unexpected school closures. Any and all fees incurred from the center may be billed through the parent’s FACTS account with or without further authorization necessary.
The Rock Academy, California, USA
· Payment for care is due bi-weekly beginning the first day your child starts Raising Stars.
· Payment may be dropped off in the payment box or given to the Owner or Director ONLY. If your child will not be in attendance at the time your tuition is due you must bring it in before it’s due, or send it in the mail. Please add $10.00 for each and every day your payment is late. Under certain circumstances a 48-hour grace period will be given.
· If you would like to pay by the month instead of bi-weekly,it is an option but must be approved by management.
· We require a non-refundable registration fee. Please see the Registration Fees portion of this packet for more info.
· If your payment is more than a week late your child will not be able to attend school without proper payment.
Raising Stars, Minnesota, USA
Have a Parent, Staff, or Operating handbook you’d like to share with us for use in our policy samples? You can upload PDFs here.
Thoughts on this topic? Share them in the comments, we’d love to know what you think.
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