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June 19, 2020

The Big Picture
If the current crisis has taught us anything it's that partnerships are more important than ever. One of the most important partnerships for an enrollment leader is with the finance office. Current parents may be asking for refunds or discounts and new families may be coming back for more financial aid. Your enrollment contract and student / parent handbook are critical tools in navigating these conversations.

Key Considerations
Hopefully your contract has a few key provisions but how you implement your policies and procedures going forward might are as important as the words on the page. Here are a few key factors to consider:

  • Two guiding documents: Your enrollment contract will likely dictate the terms of payments and refunds. Your parent / student handbook may have language regarding 'parents as partners' and the ways you may adjust your program due to unforseen circumstances. Now's the time to have both documents to hand. If you have separate agreements for additional fees such as devices, transportation, or additional programming such as travel or afterschool activities get those handy too.
  • Be consistent: Make sure the decisions you make for one family or group of families is consistent with your policies and decision making for all familes. Building goodwill now will pay off in the future!
  • Think ahead: Making decisions about tuition has long-term impact. Now is the time to look at your multi-year financial models. You might have very strong language in your contract but you may elect not to exercise that language if it fits for the long-term goals of the school.
  • Don't go it alone: The partnership with your business office is more important than ever. Your head and board will also be involved in this decision.

After watching the video and reading the summary above download the Enrollment & Finance Conversation Guide to turn your learning into action.

Want to read more? Check out this bonus article about room and board refunds from Inside HigherEd.

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