Studio Policies: Part 2 of 5

Today I wanted to focus on Tuition. One of the best things I have done with my tuition schedule is figure out for the year everything I want to include and then divide it into equal monthly payments no matter how many lessons may be that month etc… Last year I decided I wanted to simplify things on the business end and figured out the average of what I spend in core music for my students, raised tuition to account for that and included the music in my tuition. I can’t tell you how much this has simplified things. No longer do I have to keep track of balances etc… I just order what I need and take it out from my “music” savings that I set aside for this purpose.

Another change that I decided to do last year that I am loving is asking for a minimum of a semester commitment. I used to get parents that would have their child quit the last month of a semester when they have been working hard on preparing for the recital etc… and because of this, the poor child would lose out and all their hard work. It would drive me nuts. So this way they finish up the semester fully and the students aren’t getting the raw end of the deal at all. I’ve also noticed after implementing this policy that the overall commitment in the studio has really stepped up.

Here is what my policy says on tuition…

TUITION-
• Tuition is based on a 10-month period (Aug-May) and divided into monthly payment installments that can be paid
with different payment options listed on the registration form. The studio runs much like a private school; Tuition
remains the same each month and is based on enrollment, not attendance reserving your child’s exclusive lesson
time throughout the piano year, whether he/she attends lessons or not. (I can’t teach another student when a student
misses a lesson without replacing the student altogether.) TUITION INCLUDES ALL CORE MUSIC needed each
semester.
 
• A commitment for a minimum of 1 semester (5 months) is required with a one-month written and paid notice
before the semester ends should you decide to discontinue lessons. (Fall Semester: Aug-Dec; Spring Semester: Jan-
May) Tuition does not change regardless of the actual number of lessons per month. (See yearly calendar for
details) This policy covers both semesters for the school year. If you begin in the fall semester, re-registration in
the spring is not necessary. It will be assumed that both Fall and Spring semesters will be taken unless I receive
your one month notice before semester end. Re-registration for the following year is done every spring and due by
May 1st.
 
• Tuition is due by the 1st of each month. Please make the tuition check payable to “Foxx Piano Studio”. If you are
late with your payment, there is a 3-day grace period to turn in tuition without penalty. If you are more than 3 days
late, please add a $15.00 late penalty on your check. If you are late with tuition payments more than twice, you will
be asked to pay full semester tuition payments. There is a $25.00 fee for bounced checks. Payment must be paid in
cash before the next lesson.
 
• A Non-Refundable $100.00 Studio Fee per student is required for each academic year or whenever you begin piano
lessons. The Studio Fee enables the studio to provide students with loaner music, incentives and rewards, and
awards for the spring recital, defray substantial costs for the recital location, theory games, lab materials and upkeep,
music library materials, miscellaneous handouts, and use of accompaniment CD’s and disks during lesson time. This
also includes a monthly subscription to MusicLearningCommunity.com, a mandatory online theory program that
students will have weekly at home assignments in during the time you are enrolled in the studio.
 
 
Disclaimer: Not all of the wordings in my policy are original. Over the years I have come across great ideas in teachers policies that were willing to share so I have adapted them into my policy as well. If you see something that is your original idea, thank you! And feel free to credit yourself  the comments. 

5 thoughts on “Studio Policies: Part 2 of 5

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I really like your idea about committing to a minimum of one semester. I’m going to add this. I’ve yet to implement a “studio fee” or “signup fee”, but I’m starting to think that this might be necessary…. things get so expensive and I often feel like I’m spending my own money on things that the students should be responsible for!

    • Thanks for your comment Stacey. I felt like a semester commitment was reasonable and a good way for those who want to “try out” lessons and see if they like it. They can’t figure that out within a month. It takes a reasonable amount of time like a semester to figure that out. So that gets rid of that problem. Also since I was including music in tuition I needed that semester commitment so I wouldn’t lose any money doing that. I would highly recommend implementing a studio registration fee. Pretty much every activity has one (sports, dance, etc…) so they aren’t really a surprise for parents.

  2. Jennifer, can you please describe what “core music” means? Are there situations where students need to pay for music that does not fall into this category? Thanks for all your sharing!

  3. I have never had a registration fee, but beginning with this coming year’s registration, I have required a non-refundable $50 materials deposit. Music purchased on their behalf will come out of this. I’ll place my substantial orders over the summer (watching Prima for sales) & take the amount out of the materials fee. I’m fortunate that at this time I’m not charged a rental fee for my recital location, but that may come down the road (I have no control over other people’s decisions). Once folks get used to the materials deposit, I might institute a registration fee too to offset the costs of the things you mentioned (and especially my M&M’s dispenser!!!)
    I really like your policy letter – I’ll definitely be using it for reference! I’ll be looking forward to the remaining posts on it.

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