I grew up around my parents’ small Montessori school. I have vivid memories of watching my stepmom gather a stack of tuition checks to take to the bank to deposit. She was often rushing on a Friday night to make sure she had the checks deposited in time for payroll the next week.
Over the years, I’ve seen online payments rise in ease and popularity. Yet, I see their school still opting for paper checks. And the more I’ve investigated, the more I’ve realized a lot of small schools are opting to accept either cash or paper checks for tuition and other payments. It made me wonder why they’re still doing it this way.
To get answers to my questions and better understand what is holding people back from choosing an online payment system, I asked the same person I always go to when I need a direct, unfiltered answer — my dad. He is a Ron Swanson type. He’s an expert in information systems, a co-owner of a Montessori school, and he has a healthy appreciation for breakfast.
This is the first in the Conversations with a skeptic blog series. This installment takes a look at the concerns that he brought up and how the right tool, like TuitonPay, can address those concerns.
The startup cost and fees will hurt our bottom line
To start off, both my parents are very aware of the rise in popularity of online payments. They are just not the type to just jump on the bandwagon. They’ll do their research and make sure the changes they make are designed for longevity and will help their school rather than hurt it.
The very first concern my dad brought up was how quickly a 2.00% fee can add up on tuition payments. At some point, especially for smaller schools, this can make it almost impossible to remain profitable. And how can a school continue to serve their families if they can’t afford to keep the doors open?
Is a digital payment option really worth that?
The short answer is, no. And that’s why a lot of schools continue to stick to paper checks, even though only 14% of consumers prefer to use paper checks to pay bills.1 In a world where most of our bills and shopping can be found at our fingertips, having to maintain a checkbook or worse – make a trip to the bank, is really a major inconvenience.
Does this mean small schools can’t take payments online?
Not if we have anything to say about it.
Online payments have so many benefits for your families and your school in terms of convenience, security, labor, and more that they should be accessible to all schools. Fees should not be a barrier to entry.
That’s why we’ve developed TuitionPay powered by Diamond Mind payment processing with schools in mind. We see your hard work creating a great experience for your students, parents, alumni, and more – you deserve a great experience as well.
So, how did we make it affordable?
A Flexible Fee Policy
When you use TuitionPay your payment processing is powered by Diamond Mind.
Diamond Mind was created specifically for K-12 schools and we understand the barriers that many schools may face when it comes to adopting an online payment processing tool. That’s why we have a flexible fee structure that makes accepting those online payments a possibility – even for small schools.
Our flexible fee structure lets you manage tuition the way that works best for you.
- Cost-Neutral is the most popular option. With this model, schools receive the full tuition payment amount and pass the processing fee onto the payer, often referred to as a convenience fee. If you’re worried about the cost of processing online tuition payments, this option is for you.
- The standard fee structure is for schools that don’t want to pass the processing fees onto their parents. With this fee structure, the actual fee itself comes out of the tuition payment made to the school.
- Is your school in a state that has stricter convenience fee laws? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll walk through options that can work for you.
Fees should not be a barrier to entry – no matter your school size. TutionPay was built for K-12 schools, and will meet your needs. For the next installment in Conversations with a skeptic, I ‘mustache’ my dad about online payment security concerns. He has a few Ron Swanson tendencies – like a healthy trepidation of the internet.
Learn more about TuitionPay