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Using Financial Aid Management to Expand Your Private School’s Horizons
Your school undoubtedly has its own special qualities to offer bright, promising students. Therefore, you want to make your school experience attainable to the most deserving young minds. However, your primary goal must be to carve out the money you need to serve your whole school community and achieve a diverse student body who are aligned with your mission. Still, private institutions must balance offering financial aid to deserving students with meeting their bottom line. Make smart choices about offering and managing financial aid, and you can succeed at both.
Enroll and Retain More Families
Regardless of your school’s size, financial aid can help attract and retain families. First, consider that some families might not even consider your school because they believe it’s out of reach financially. This goes double for middle income families, who may assume they won’t qualify for financial aid, yet still cannot pay the cost of full tuition. Market to these families by letting them know that they can apply for awards easily so that they don’t give up without trying.
Once you enroll a student, financial aid helps keep their family engaged in two ways. First, a family might stretch its resources to pay for their oldest child’s schooling. Unfortunately, that means the second and third children might miss out. It makes sense for you to enroll all children in a single family whenever possible [link to blog post on multi-child families], so empower these families with financial aid options.
The other way you can retain families is to recognize that sometimes, circumstances change. Parents change jobs or unexpected expenses arise. It’s more cost-effective for you, as a school, to retain students rather than recruit and enroll new ones. Besides, changing schools is incredibly disruptive in a child’s life. Help these families stick with you by providing financial assistance.
Foster Diversity and Inclusion
Financial aid helps foster diversity and inclusion. It’s in everyone’s best interest to have students from all different socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnicities. And establishing the importance of diversity and inclusion early on helps children grow up more open-minded and informed about the world around them.
The benefits don’t stop there. A study published in the journal Child Development in 2018 assessed sixth graders in the classroom. The researchers concluded that, “as classrooms became more racially balanced, students felt safer, less bullied, and less lonely.”
Make financial aid available to parts of your local community where families are less likely to typically afford private school. You will enrich your school and the lives of your students.
Manage Financial Aid Easily
Perhaps you have your own reasons for offering financial aid, in addition to those above. Yet you might struggle with how to implement the program and track awards, worrying that management will create a logistical nightmare for your team.
To be sure, managing all your awards can be a difficult and time-consuming process, especially with information spread across various systems. You need to centralize your information and, ideally, integrate it with your whole application and tuition management system. With software that provides a holistic view of grants, merit-based and need-based aid, you can keep track seamlessly. Not to mention, produce reports of cash flow and outstanding ￼payments.
The last thing you should do is let logistics stand in the way of providing financial assistance to deserving children. Schedule a demo of the software solutions available that can make financial aid and award management smooth and efficient.