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What Should I Charge for Tuition?

Hi There!

Its Mara Linaberger, creator of the Micro-school Builder’s 9-step guide to building the school of your dreams in less than a year without sacrificing your salary or sanity.

This is the next video in our series that tackles your questions about building micro-schools. Today’s comes from the fifth step on the 9-step guide that most micro-school builders and all of my clients follow. Today’s question is: 

What should I charge for tuition?

First of all, most micro-schools operate as either a for-profit business or as a non-profit. Either way, because they are often run as tutoring centers or homeschool cooperatives, nearly all micro-schools charge tuition. But how do you know how much to charge for your services.

Many micro-school owners hope to make a real difference in the world by offering a top quality education for a bargain basement price. Unfortunately, unless you have an altruistic angel investor, this may not be the most viable business option for you.

There are three ways I coach my clients to approach the task of setting tuition.

  1. First, take a look at what schools are charging in your location. Be sure to not only create a chart of all of the private and independent schools and their tuition, find out what the cost per student rate is for the public schools. This will give you a starting idea of what the market can bear.
  2. Next, think about the value of what you’ll be offering families – and come up with a value statement that clearly articulates the student outcomes parents can expect (especially ones not found in other schools in your area) and match that value to the tuition you hope to charge.
  3. And finally – complete a simple budget for your school that includes the salary you hope to earn. You might create a bare bones version and a dream version to aim for. But here’s the most important thing – you need to weigh tuition costs against your own needs, in order to begin to earn a salary that matches your worth.

Certainly you can create a sliding scale to help lower income families to afford your school. And you can create service swapping options, or fundraising mechanisms to help you offset the cost of tuition for some of your families. But to truly build a micro-school that can last – you need to create a budget that carefully balances expenses against the income being generated with tuition.

Now that you’ve got a better idea about how to determine the tuition you’ll charge for your micro-school, perhaps you’d like to know the next steps in the process. I invite you to follow the link I’ve shared below this video to get your free copy of the 9-step guide, a digital copy of my second book, the Micro-school Builder’s Handbook, and to access the training videos I’ve created to go along with them both.

I hope that today’s recording has helped clarify your questions about how to determine tuition rates for your micro-school . I hope that you’ll choose become part of the movement to remake education through the creation of micro-schools around the globe.  Until next time, have a great day!

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