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An Edvance Guide: Charging Late Fees and Reducing Attrition, the Right Way

Here at Edvance we’re providing you an article below with basic billing tips that apply to school management, but to guarantee revenue, we suggest the support of Edvance.

Overdue monthly payments are a harsh reality that many schools face regarding their financial management; and at Edvance, we know that this is a sensitive subject. Billing is a necessity for schools' financial wellbeing, but if done poorly, the results could negatively affect the image of the institution by alienating students and harming the quality of education provided.


Establish Open Communication Channels with Students and Parents

The first thing schools should be doing is to understand the reasons for defaulting payments. Taking into account the “why” is essential to better plan and execute ways to reduce these defaults. Common causes can be due to: occasional forgetfulness, unforeseen events, impact during times of financial crisis, mismatch between salaries and monthly payment due dates, and in extreme cases - a lack of clarity or focus either with the families financial management or on the student’s education.

By understanding the “why” in a friendly, private and respectful way, whatever the cause can lead to a better relationship between the parent and your school. Ultimately, having this understanding allows schools to better accommodate to parent’s specific financial needs. For example occasional forgetfulness can be addressed by automating payment reminders to parents via WhatsApp. Mismatch between salaries and monthly payment due dates can be solved by offering parents Buy Now Pay Later instalment options.


Practical Tips for Schools

Follow the following tips below to practically implement strategies to improve your schools attrition and financial health.

First it is important to have a dedicated team. Having the same person in charge, communicating with parents offers security, familiarity and reduces misunderstandings.

Secondly, plan before you charge, this implies knowing the percentage of the default rates your school experiences as well as understanding payment histories of each family/parent in charge of your schools fees.

Before carrying out payment collections, it is important to send out reminder messages to parents. In this context they should be as friendly as possible while being assertive. Empathy and communication is key. In the event of late payments, you should put yourself in the parent’s shoes, such that the conversation becomes more friendly and allows trust to be established. Have school personnel in charge of collecting, speak clearly and in an empathetic way such that they can better be understood by parents.

Finally never use an aggressive tone, this has far more negative effects in the long run than they do short term gains. If the situation is delicate, consider offering alternative payment options - this includes discounts, or debt instalments.


Leveraging Financial Technology for Effective Fee Collection

Modern challenges require modern solutions. This is where financial technology companies specialising in payments collection come into play. By integrating innovative payment systems, schools can streamline fee collection processes, making them more convenient and efficient for both administrators and parents.

1. Online Payment Portals: Transitioning from traditional paper-based payment methods to online portals simplifies fee payment processes. Parents can conveniently pay fees using a variety of digital payment options, reducing the chances of delays due to logistical constraints.

2. Automated Reminders: Financial technology platforms can send automated reminders to parents about upcoming payment deadlines. These gentle nudges not only reduce the likelihood of late payments but also enhance the school's communication efforts.

3. Flexible Payment Plans: Some parents may face genuine financial difficulties that hinder their ability to pay on time. A flexible payment plan option, enabled by financial technology tools, can accommodate such situations and reduce the chances of attrition due to financial constraints.

4. Data-Driven Insights: Advanced payment collection systems provide valuable insights into payment trends, allowing schools to anticipate and address potential issues proactively. This data-driven approach aids in optimising the institution's financial health.

5. Personalised Communication: Financial technology platforms enable personalised communication with parents. This individualised approach fosters a sense of connection and understanding, leading to better cooperation in adhering to payment schedules.

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