As instructors, we have all had to deal with the awkward conversation when a student does not bring their tuition to class. There are numerous billing and processing software platforms available. One of the easiest programs I've used is Stripe. The fees are fairly standard across the board (3.5% of credit/debit card transactions) as of this writing, but what I like most is being able to set up automatic billing. That alleviates the awkward interactions when a student shows up to class without their tuition as you never have to chase them down for payment. Below, I'll detail the steps to getting your automatic billing set up.
Step 1: Create "Product" in Product Catalog
Make sure you select "Recurring" when inputting the pricing information.
Step 2: Create "Customer"
Step 3: Add Payment Method
Click on the student and it will take you to this page. This is where you input the student's credit/debit card, or ACH information.
Step 4: Create Subscription
Select the "Product", when to start billing monthly, and make sure you turn off "prorate charges" or it will charge the student immediately for the difference.
And that's it! The entire process takes less than 5 minutes per student, and then you never have to worry about collecting cash/checks or manually running cards. Also, in the event that a payment declines, it automatically runs again the next business day. I would recommend logging into your Stripe account on billing days to stay up-to-date on what's collected and what failed.
Stripe has plenty of other features as well, which I will detail in future articles, and I am definitely happy that I switched from my previous platform to this.