How are Schools Handling the COVID-19 Impact on Tuition Management?

April 28, 2020 Beth Riccardi

A couple reviewing their bills to pay the school's tuition.

If your school is discussing how to best handle the impact of COVID-19 on tuition management and enrollment for 2020-2021—you’re not alone. Our tuition management service delivery team is fielding many questions on this topic. As we all know, it’s a tricky balancing act between supporting families and maintaining the financial health of the school with no clear-cut right or wrong answers. Every school must make decisions based on what’s right for its situation.  

Overall, we’re seeing schools proactively communicating with families and offering additional tuition payment options to offer support while maintaining cash flow. The following options are a rundown of the measures we’ve seen schools put in place, many of which are made possible through Blackbaud Tuition ManagementTM and Blackbaud Financial Aid ManagementTM

  • Turning on the credit card payment method if this wasn’t previously offered 
  • Adjusting the due date on the first payment for the 2020-2021 school year—for example, moving a May start on a monthly plan to a June start and adding the missed payment to an additional month at the end of the payment plan 
  • Adjusting the last month that a payment is due for the 2019-2020 school year—for example, on a monthly payment plan that ends in May, schools are allowing the final payment to be made by the end of June 
  • Offering to stop auto-payments for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, giving families the flexibility to manage their budgets through manual payments made via phone, online, or traditional mail 
  • Reviewing incidental charges that aren’t applicable during distance learning such as lunch, extended care, and bussing fees 
  • Extending enrollment contract deadlines and deposits without penalty if applicable 
  • Reducing late enrollment fees 
  • Reducing enrollment deposit amounts 
  • Communicating with families about how to adjust family income on financial aid applications 
  • Re-opening 2019-2020 enrollment for the school’s distance learning program to potentially retain the new students for the 2020-2021 school year 

As always, if you have any questions about instituting any of these changes within Blackbaud Tuition Management and Blackbaud Financial Aid Management, please contact our helpful Support team via chat or 1.800.468.8996.  

About the Author

Beth Riccardi

Beth Riccardi is a service delivery manager for Blackbaud Tuition Management System and has been Root Cause Analysis certified. She began her Blackbaud career as an account manager, and now her team of specialists works with private schools, large groups, and dioceses to assist with billing tuition and incidentals, managing payment collection, and sharing best practices on how to reduce delinquency. Beth and her team strive to help schools run more efficiently and enjoy building long-lasting relationships along the way.

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