Running a school costs a lot of money, and these costs only keep increasing yearly. School businesses are almost like private businesses; they receive less financial support from the government, and as such, requires the school owners to spend from the little they have. To meet up with some of the school's goals or to raise the school's standard, school owners increase their school fees occasionally. This way, they can provide more quality services to the students and staff and also improve the school environment.
School fees increment is usually a contentious issue between parents and school owners, especially for parents who do not earn much. The list of things parents pay for every term for their children is usually a burden to some parents, and the thought of having to pay more can sometimes lead to anger or disagreements from the parents. While you may need to increase your school fees as a school owner, you would not want to upset parents in the process. How then do you go about this?
Below are some strategies you can adopt for increasing school fees in your school. These strategies were birthed from a conversation with some school owners a few days ago, and might be helpful for your school:
- Draw out a plan for school fees increment: Many parents get furious when they hear you're increasing your school fees too often. A more considerable way to increase school fees is by drawing out a plan. For instance, you can decide to increase school fees every three or four years, as it suits your school structure best. You can also choose a certain percentage for the increment, maybe 10% or 15% every three or four years. This way, it remains consistent and parents can prepare ahead for it, rather than being caught unawares.
- Carry the parents along: Parents like being involved in every part of the school's activities and development as it concerns their children too. The reason for setting up a PTA in your school is to communicate effectively to parents about developments in your school. This can be a good way to inform parents about school fees increment and the need for it. Otherwise, you can send out emails or messages to them conveying the information. You should inform parents about the decision 6-8 months before you begin to implement it. Every parent wants the best for their children, and if you're looking to improve your school to serve students with the best services you can render, then there should be no reason why parents will disagree with you. Don't let important information catch them unawares; carry them along and make them see reasons too.
- Create a convenient payment strategy for parents: School fees increment always comes as a big blow for parents; especially the low-income earners. One way to calm parents when raising this topic with them is to also provide solutions that are suitable to them. It's not usually convenient for some parents to pay huge sums of money at once. So, you can recommend a two-part payment strategy for paying school fees. This can either be 50% at the beginning of the term and the remaining 50% at the middle of the term. It can also be a 60/40% payment; however it suits your school structure. This way, parents are more encouraged to pay quickly and conveniently.
Parents do not love having to pay higher school fees, but it remains that schools often need to implement school fee increment regardless. There are several strategies for doing this, and your school's structure should be considered closely when determining which strategy works best.