How to Set Tuition: That’s Too Much For This Area

How to Set Tuition: That’s Too Much For This Area

Few areas of running a school are as confusing and daunting as deciding how much to charge for lessons and then how to collect that tuition. This series of articles will help you get answers to the questions of how much to charge; what your tuition really means to your school; strategies for balancing paid in fulls with monthly; whether or not to use contracts; and other critical topics related to tuition pricing.

That’s Too Much For This Area

At the start of many of my seminars, I ask the audience of owners if they would be willing to sell me their black belt for $50,000. For $50,000 they erase martial arts from their life.

It would be as though never joined a school. Of course, this is an imaginary bet, but no one has ever said, “I would if I could.” Most people laugh and say they would not do it for a million dollars!

These are often the same owners who claim their area can’t support higher tuition. They’ll say the martial arts is worth more than $50,000 to them, but they are afraid to charge $100 per month for the same experience.

The common excuse is that “That’s too much for this area.” The real message is the owner doesn’t have the confidence to ask for fair tuition. There are a lot of excuses owners will give for why they charge so little, but there is not one good reason.

Most of us are brought up poor or middle class and then left to live the rest of our lives with the belief systems of the poor or the middle class. We’re taught that rich people are bad and that money is the root of all evil.

The truth is that “the love of money” is the root of all evil. To be sure,  there are always evil people, just like there are good people. Money is just a tool. You can build with it or use it to destroy.  

We’re also taught never to ask for money or we’ll appear greedy. This is the first reprogramming you’ll need in order to set fair tuition prices. You have to learn “to ask for the check.” Literally. Practice how to ask for a payment.

Typically, that is something like, “Would you like to use cash or a card?” or, “The total is $149. How would you like to handle that?” Say it over and over in your car as you’re driving around. The first few times, you may be nervous, but it won’t be long before it’s natural to you.

Rule One: If you do not value your martial arts school and its benefits for students, then no else will either.