Paying tuition bills in full can be daunting for many students and families. As a result, they turn to loans for assistance. These loans are helpful in the present moment, but often create problems down the road.
However, with payment plans (a quickly growing trend), students have an easier time paying off their tuition costs.
Instead of taking out loans, payment plans allow students to pay installments towards their tuition throughout an extended time period.
Students’ mindsets are collectively changing every day. It’s important to focus on what they want and what they need. In this case, a way to attend college without piling on loans that will follow them post-student life.
Implementing payment plan options on your campus is currently one of the best ways to adapt and meet the needs of your students.
Here’s a closer look at what payment plans can do for your campus.
According to a Transact Integrated Payments survey, 33% of all college students weren’t sure about how they would fund their academic dreams without the support of a payment plan. Another 33% knew they would not be able to attend college at all without using a payment plan.
While not all colleges/universities have the same payment plans (some are broken into 12 months, 9 months, 8 months, or even into semester installments), they all make it easier for students and families to pay off their daunting tuition bills.
Again, the idea behind payment plans is to help students avoid taking out loans. Yet, tuition costs can still be expensive and even with a payment plan, some students may not be able to afford the entirety of each installment.
If this is the case, students can combine their payment plans and student loans. While this option doesn’t entirely eliminate loan debt, it does help to keep the total low. Students will still be saving themselves money in the long run.
One of the most unique features of payment plans is the auto-pay option. Students can set up recurring payments so they don’t have to remember to pay on time. This helps to avoid late fees and allows students to feel less stressed when it’s time to pay another installment.
Research shows a steady decline in university retention rates over the last few years. This poses an obvious problem and payment plans are a viable solution.
Because loans present themselves as one big payment, continuously collecting interest, it can be overwhelming for students and cause them to leave the university. The option to pay-as-you-go through payment plans extends retention rates in that students aren’t consumed by the large loan total. They can clearly see what they will owe and when before moving forward with their schooling.
Administrators can also leverage payment plans as a unique selling point. Not only does it give students the option to leave your university debt-free, it’s also not currently available at most universities. Payment plans set your university apart.
Additionally, payment plans show students and families you are willing to work with them to give them every possible opportunity to attend your institution. They demonstrate a student-first mentality which does wonders in improving the student experience.
Transact can help your campus implement payment plan options. But don’t just take our word for it.
From the 2019 Transact Payments-Payment Plan Enrollment Survey, 84% of students rate their payment experience as “excellent” to “fair,” and 73% of users said they are “very likely” to enroll in a payment plan again.
Take a look at the framework of Transacts payment plans:
Full-Service Payment Plans
Immediate access to collected funds for your school.
Customized plans covering tuition, housing, and meals.
Simple enrollment process that reduces human error and administrative work.
Detailed transaction and balance insights for students and staff.
Accepts credit cards, ACH, 529 plan, International Payments, or campus cards.
Dedicated customer support.
Integration with your ERP and student information system (SIS).
Complimentary turnkey marketing services to encourage student and payer adoption.
Managed Payment Plans
Enables students and authorized payers to enroll in one or more payment plans at a time.
Schools can design and manage their plans based on their administrative requirements.
Lynn University built a partnership with Transact and uses Transact Integrated Payment Solutions and Campus Commerce Solutions for all its online payment needs, including setting up payment plans. The system maintains the highest level of security, and through multiple deployment phases, Transact was able to meet the varying needs of the institution’s large number of stakeholders.
“We really appreciate the partnership we have with Transact,” stated Evelyn Nelson, the Executive Director of Student Financial Services at Lynn University. “We’ve been in business together since 2008, and I don’t foresee making any changes. The products are working for us, and they’re really evolving with us.”
Student debt is of growing concern in our society. By taking a step forward and including payment plans for your institution, students can easily fight debt and pay for their tuition costs.
Using payment plan options on your campus will also improve retention rates, reinforce a positive campus culture, add to your recruitment strategy, and promote a student-first mentality.
It’s time to make an important change, and Transact can help.
Transact offers customizable payment plan solutions to help universities unlock growth and give students the option to walk across the stage debt-free. Contact us today to learn more!