What are the Best Practices for Tuition Pages?

Private School Tuition Page Advice

The tuition page is one of the most important pages on school websites because it’s often one of the first and last pages that prospective families visit during their decision-making process. If tuition information isn’t easy to find on the school’s website, admission prospects will look for the answer from other sources that may not be accurate. Follow the tips and advice below to ensure that the tuition information they find is coming from the best source—your school.  

Use the word “tuition” in the page title.

While a page title such as “Affording [School Name]” is friendlier and sends the right marketing message, it hides the page’s real topic—the one people are searching for—from search engines. Therefore, it’s important to have a page title such as “Tuition,” “Tuition and Fees,” or “Tuition and Financial Aid” to get the page into the top results when people are searching for your school’s tuition.

Once visitors have found the page, you can always have a headline at the top of the page such as “Affording Our School” to feature an inclusive message.

Make the site easy to navigate with common terminology.

Continuing with the advice from above: Avoid the temptation to create a unique navigation structure. The most user-friendly navigation is the one that caters to the user’s expectations. Most independent school websites have an “Admissions” section, so it’s best to follow suit. Keep all navigation titles in this section straightforward—“Application Process,” “Apply Now,” “Tuition and Financial Aid”—for quick identification.

There’s ample opportunity to communicate how your school is unique in the website’s design, media, and copy.

Include FAQs on the Tuition page.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are a great way to help visitors find information and reduce the calls/emails coming into the Admissions office, but they’re also valuable for SEO, too. People are coming to the Tuition and Financial Aid page because they have questions, and they often start with search engines/devices to get the answers. By writing content in the form of their questions, you’re creating a stronger textual match between search keywords and the page.

Make sure tuition information is easy to find—for users and search engines.

When someone asks Google what the tuition is for your school, it’s likely that Google is going to display this information at the top of its search results page in a box known as a featured snippet. Having fees in regular text on the Tuition page (bolded is even better) instead of hidden in a .pdf or image helps Google extract the info from your school’s site. It’s also a good idea to avoid putting tuition info into large tables that could break the page on mobile devices—another Google no-no.

If the tuition information isn’t easily obtained from your school’s website, Google may grab it from a site such as Niche.com or PrivateSchoolReview.com. You run the risk of the information being outdated on these sites, so it’s also a good idea to periodically check them for accuracy.

Having tuition expenses available in plain text on the page also makes the information more accessible to people with visual impairments who are using a screen reader to access the page.

Capitalize on the page traffic.

Tuition pages often have a high bounce rate (when people enter and exit on the same page) because users are coming to the site purely to learn the tuition cost. Look to capitalize on the high volume of Tuition traffic by including other messaging on the page that also helps lower the bounce rate.

For example, an image gallery with captions and links to key programs reminds parents about the educational quality that comes with the cost. Or a feature story about the achievements of a current student or alumni member that helps them buy-into the school’s mission. Perhaps it’s as simple as a callout for open house registrations. Whatever it is, make sure this secondary content is presented in a sidebar or a similar treatment so that it doesn’t visually compete with the tuition information.

Find the time.

By making your site easy to navigate and the tuition information easy to find, it sends the message that your school is easy to work with, giving prospective families confidence in the school as a whole. Therefore, it’s worth taking the time to optimize the Tuition page for users and search engines alike because there’s more at stake for candidate families than simply learning the cost of your school.

About the Author

Wilson Nash

Wilson Nash is an interactive designer with Blackbaud’s K–12 Professional Services Team. When he isn’t helping schools build their websites, Wilson enjoys experimenting with other forms of new media such as Motion Graphics and iOS development.

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