How does your school collect tuition and other fees from families? Depending on the method you use, it could be time to update your tuition management program. When choosing a tuition and billing management system, you have two primary options: full-service or in-house. Community Brands produces two tuition management systems: TADS Tuition Management and Diamond Mind TuitionPay. Full-service tuition management with TADS can be the right choice for some schools, while TuitionPay may be better suited for others.
Take a closer look at the features and functions of each tuition management system and weigh their benefits to discover which one might be appropriate for your K-12 school.
What Is TADS Tuition & Billing Management?
More than 3,000 schools use TADS Tuition & Billing Management as a full-service tuition and payment processing solution. The system aims to give members of a school’s business office more time in their days by automating tasks that once needed to be performed by hand and by managing communications and follow-ups with families. TADS Tuition Management also increases accounting accuracy, meaning your business office employees will spend less time correcting mistakes.
Features of TADS Tuition & Billing Management
TADS Tuition Management system has several features designed to streamline your school’s tuition and billing process.
- Supports multiple tuition payment plans: Different families have different needs when it comes to paying tuition. Some can comfortably pay in full, upfront, while others need more flexibility. With TADS, you can create payment plans that adjust and adapt to the specific needs of individual families and that are appropriate for your school’s needs. The agreements are fully customizable, allowing your school to offer the greatest amount of flexibility to families and welcome a truly diverse student population.
- Allows you to bill for multiple things: Although tuition is most likely the biggest expense families at your school have, it’s not the only thing they will need to pay for during the academic year. Tuition & Billing Management lets you bill for any fees, whether they are connected to a child’s tuition or not.
- Supports multiple payment options: TADS allows for multiple payment options, giving families the most flexibility possible and making it easier for your school to accept payments. Families can also choose how they receive invoices and bills from your school.
- Includes a comprehensive reporting system: Tuition & Billing Management features a built-in, detailed reporting system that reconciles against your school’s general ledger. The reporting system also provides graphical reports that help you clearly see and understand data.
- Follows up with delinquent accounts: If families are late on payments or fall behind in their payment plans, TADS Tuition Management takes on the responsibility of contacting delinquent accounts. We will send out friendly reminder emails on behalf of your school.
Benefits of TADS Tuition & Billing Management
For some schools, TADS Tuition Management is the right option. The benefits of choosing Tuition Management include the following:
- Is fully customizable: Every school is different, and the solutions that work for one might not work for another. You can completely customize TADS Tuition Management to meet your school’s needs. For example, you can use it for any type of billing and can distribute the charges across invoices or add them to a new invoice. Some schools use TADS to bill for lunch programs, extracurricular activities, field trips and overdue library fees.
- Boosts school spirit and loyalty: Families choose schools for the quality of the academics and extracurriculars offered. They also consider the behind-the-scenes features at the school when deciding whether to keep their children enrolled. If families aren’t happy with the administrative process or feel it is inconvenient to pay their bills, they could pull their kids out and enroll elsewhere. Using a tuition management system that makes things easier for them will make them happier and more committed to your school. TADS Tuition Management lets families choose how they pay for tuition and other fees and how they receive their invoices. The system also allows them to set up payment plans and agreements that either the family or the school can adjust throughout the year.
- Includes a paper-free option: Many schools dream of cutting out paper or at least drastically reducing the amount of paperwork in the office. TADS can put your school one step closer to achieving the dream of going fully paper-free. The system can be 100% paperless, with fully digital invoices, applications, communications and payment acceptance. For families who do wish to receive physical invoices and messages from the school, TADS does offer a paper option.
- Keeps funds safe: After families pay their tuition and other fees, your school might be concerned about how the money makes its way from the families to the payment system and finally to your school’s accounts. All money collected by TADS is safeguarded in a “for the benefit of” (FBO) bank account before it gets released to your school. You don’t have to worry about the funds getting lost or stolen in transit.
- Has a secure system: TADS also takes digital and data security seriously. Our system is SSAE-16 Audited and PCI compliant. Families and school administrators can feel confident that personal information will be kept private. The system also transfers payments to the school six times a month and keeps all school funds separate from operational funds.
- Keeps track of agreements: Tuition Management streamlines the process of managing family payment plans and keeping track of who has signed what and who still needs to sign. The system provides immediate, real-time access to signed contracts. It also helps you see at-a-glance who still needs to sign and who needs a follow-up or reminder.
- Means fewer responsibilities for your team: Following up with families who have missed a payment deadline or who have not paid at all requires care and skill. It also distracts your team from other, potentially more pressing tasks. TADS will email or call families who have fallen behind to remind them to pay, meaning there is one less thing on your team’s to-do list.
What Is Diamond Mind’s TuitionPay?
Diamond Mind TuitionPay is an in-house payment management solution. The software program is designed to work with other products in the Diamond Mind K-12 Select Suite, such as Admission & Enrollment, Financial Aid Management and Fundraising & Advancement. As a self-managed system, TuitionPay is ideal for schools that already have an existing invoicing system in place and are looking to simplify payment processing.
Features of TuitionPay
TuitionPay isn’t a full-service tuition and billing management system. But it is a feature-rich software program. Among the features and highlights of Diamond Mind TuitionPay are:
- Integrates with a school’s website: TuitionPay offers a branded design that blends in nicely with the rest of your school’s website. The software allows parents to easily pay tuition and other fees right from your school’s website.
- Allows for flexible payment plans: TuitionPay makes it easy for schools and families to set up and manage payment plans. Schools can use the software to develop payment plans that encourage on-time payments and fit with families’ budgets. Families completely manage their payment plans through TuitionPay, including signing up for a particular plan and managing their payment method, without needing to contact someone in the school’s business office.
- Offers multiple payment options: TuitionPay lets you give families plenty of payment options, making it easier for them to pay tuition. Families can use ACH, credit cards or debit cards to make payments. They can also issue a one-time payment or set up recurring payments using the same method.
- Streamlines payment reporting and management: Schools that use TuitionPay can quickly and easily review payments. Payment reporting lets schools sort payments by date, amount or person who paid. The streamlined payment reporting feature makes it easy to keep on top of who is paying on-time and who might be behind or have missed payments.
- Offers real-time reports: TuitionPay offers real-time reporting that simplifies the process of communicating with parents and families. The system can send automatic reminders of upcoming payment due dates to families as well as receipts when a family pays. If a payment should fail, the system will alert families right away so that they can correct the issue, such as by inputting a new credit card number or updating an expiration date.
Benefits of TuitionPay
Schools that prefer to maintain a direct connection with families through the tuition payment process might find that Diamond Mind TuitionPay best suits their needs. Some of the benefits of TuitionPay include:
- Keeps you in contact with families: Although some tuition management software programs offer full-service support, that might not be the right option for your school. If you prefer to be the point-of-contact for families who have concerns about payment or questions about their payment plans, TuitionPay lets someone from your school serve as the point-person.
- Keeps you in control of funds: Funds get transferred quickly to your school through TuitionPay. You’ll receive payment daily through the system.
- Increases on-time payments: Every family has different budgets and different methods of managing their finances. Some might fall behind if they need to pay tuition in a lump sum. Offering payment plans through TuitionPay means that families will be more like to pay on-time, as agreed, since the plans are created based on their specific situation. The system will keep families on top of their payment plans by sending out upcoming payment reminders and following up on successful or failed payments.
- Keeps funds secure: TuitionPay uses a PCI-DSS compliant security system, meaning all money is kept safe and sound. Personal and private data are also secure.
- Saves time with automated processes: Your business office employees have a lot on their plates, from managing fundraising efforts to ensuring all the behind-the-scenes details are in place to keep the school fully operational. TuitionPay streamlines the reporting process, handling in minutes what it might take a person hours or days to do by hand.
Who Is a Good Fit for TADS Tuition Management?
Is TADS Tuition Management the right pick for your private school? It might be if any of the following describes your school:
- A school looking for a complete payment solution: Your school is hoping to offers families more payment plans, more ways to pay and wants to make the process of accepting and reconciling payments simpler.
- A school that doesn’t already have an invoicing system in place: Tuition Management can be the right choice for your school if you aren’t already using an invoicing system. If you’re starting from scratch and need to put an invoicing and billing system in place from the ground up, TADS might work best for you.
- A school looking to streamline reporting: If you are having difficulty keeping up with reporting and accounting, the system TADS uses can simplify the process and put all the data you need at your fingertips.
- A school looking for someone to manage delinquent accounts: Following up on late payments or non-payments might not be high on your team’s list of enjoyable things to do. TADS takes care of late payments for you and will send friendly reminders and follow-ups to families who might have gotten behind.
- A school looking to expand the number of payment methods accepted: These days, accepting as many payment methods as possible is just good business sense. It’s also great for customer service. With Tuition Management, you can accept credit and debit cards, as well as ACH, making it even easier for your families to pay.
- A school looking to go paperless: If one of your school’s goals is to go paper-free or significantly reduce the amount of paperwork in the office, TADS Tuition Management can help you get on track to achieve that goal.
Who Is a Good Fit for TuitionPay?
Some schools might find that Diamond Mind TuitionPay is a better fit for their goals and needs. If any of the following describe your school, TuitionPay might be the right fit:
- A school looking for a tuition management program to supplement an existing invoicing system: Your school already uses an invoicing system and you’re happy with it. You’re looking for a way to offer payment plans, though. TuitionPay integrates into your website and works with your existing system.
- A school that prefers some level of DIY: You like being able to directly communicate with families about payment plans, tuition and billing. If you prefer following up and directly contacting families who have fallen behind on payments, TuitionPay might work for your school.
- A school looking to expand the type of payment methods accepted: TuitionPay lets you accept more payment methods, make it more convenient for families to pay their bills. The system lets you accept credit and debit cards or ACH payments.
Request a Demo Today
Which tuition management program is right for your school? One way to make a decision is to give each one a try and see how they work. For more details on TADS Tuition Management, request a demo today. If Diamond Mind TuitionPay seems like a good fit, you can request a demo to see it in action.