Best practice for a school website – the fees page

A school is a dynamic and active community, and as such there should be a constant flow of fresh information and content for marketing teams to keep flowing through a school website. One page however that does not get much attention is the school fees page. This page is typically only updated once a year, when the new fees are released – in many cases this is just uploading a new fee schedule PDF to the site – consider it updated for another year!

This may not seem like a major issue for some, but if you look at the website analytics you will find that in most cases, the fees page is one of the top ranking pages on a school website. This means that lots of people are visiting the page, and for a good reason – fees form a key piece of the puzzle in the enrolment decision. This makes a strong case that more attention needs to be paid to the fees page, and that any wise school should pay close attention to this page to make the most of the opportunities and engage in a meaningful way with visitors on their enrolment journey.

At Feesable we see lots of school fees pages. With the modern day audience in mind, we have a good grasp on what works and what doesn’t, so we’ve put together a few practical tips to put in place, which should really be a minimum for any school seeking to make the most of the fees page. Here we go…

Use uplifting graphics and colours

Financial information can be plain, and understanding the fees, especially for first timers, can be a shock or at the very least difficult to digest. So using uplifting colours and warm and friendly photos can help to offset these feelings and subconsciously help to improve the mood of your audience as they digest the fee information. Hillcrest Christian College demonstrate this with a well chosen banner image of smiling, happy kids.

Keep the text on the page to a minimum

People are there to see the fees, the figures. They don’t want an essay or other irrelevant information to read, so simply include high level information about fees, enough to inform your audience but not overwhelm. Macquarie College do this well, letting the Feesable Fee Calculator do the work to clearly outline the fees.

Include some background information on ‘the why’

One case for adding extra text is to include a succinct and brief outline of the why or the vision/mission of your school – this should be the reason families choose your school, not the fees, so it is important to drive this home so they understand why it is worth paying these fees. Kuyper Christian School give us a good example of how this is done, with a short but poignant paragraph at the top of their fees page on their mission.

Include a positive testimonial on the page

Testimonies are undoubtedly one of the best ways to convince people something is worthwhile, so dig out your best parent testimonies and drop them into the content of the page. ideally a quote that refers to fees (along the lines of “…the best investment we ever made…”), or at least to reinforce ‘the why’. Orange Christian School demonstrate this with a quote from a parent on their fees page.

Outline the fees in a clear, simple and accessible way

Fees can be complex, so your job is to make them less complex by the way you present them on the page. A fee table is a reliable method, or an interactive fee calculator is the best way to take the complexity out of it and present the fees in a transparent and simple way. Make sure you don’t stash the fees at the bottom of the page, or on a tiny text link to a PDF – this isn’t helping parents. Belmont Christian College do this well, offering the interactive Feesable fee calculator, plus a fee table and clearly outlined inclusions and options, all on the same page.

List all applicable fees

The tuition fee component is usually clearly evident, but it is the other additional fees that can be an unwelcome surprise to parents. So don’t leave out the application or enrolment fees, and be sure to make clear mention of any other levies that may apply (i.e. don’t put them in the fine print on a PDF!). An interactive fee calculator is a great way to make sure all relevant fees applicable to a specific family are showing with personalised fee estimates.

Include information about discounts available

Any information about saving money will be valuable for parents, so make sure this is clearly presented. Early payment discounts, sibling discounts, staff or other discounts. This can be the difference between enrolling any, or multiple children at your school. An interactive fee calculator also provides a simple way for families to work out the discounts rather than having to run the calculations for themselves.

Make mention of financial assistance, scholarships or bursaries

Including this type information can be more complex as these may not apply to all families. However. but it is important to communicate that these are available so families can take this into consideration – it could be the deciding factor for enrolment.

Include information about payment options

This is a very practical thing, but it is where the rubber hits the road for parents as they consider how they can afford the fees, and the best way to pay. These days there are innovative systems to help families plan and pay for school fees, such as spreading out payments over the year – this information can be vital in the enrolment decision.

Provide specific contact information

Fees and financial information can be sensitive, so you want to provide a way for parents to speak directly with the right person if they have questions or concerns to raise. Ideally this would be the Business Manager, Director of Enrolments or Registrar, and provide a phone number or email (such as businessmanager@) – a contact form is too impersonal for this type of enquiry.

Add clear a call to action

The fees page may seem like just a necessary, informative page on your school website. In fact, it should be thought of as a highly converting page where you have excellent opportunity to engage with your audience. The fees page is often a key point in the enrolment journey for families, and as such should be used to provide a clear way for parents to take a next step or get in touch. Be sure to add a link to tour bookings, enrol info, and employ innovative ways such as the Feesable School Fee Calculator that provides a simple way for parents to enquire while finding out the key information they need about fees.

Include the extra details in the Fee schedule

As mentioned above, too much information on a fees page is not helpful. There is however often lots of information to communicate surrounding fees. This is where a Fee Schedule can be used to provide more detailed information about fees and other pertinent information. Make sure you include a link to download this information on your page.


So we would recommend you schedule in some time to review your school fees page on your website – run through the tips above and see how you can make some improvements to make the most of this important page on your site.

To really take your fees page to the next level, we recommend you check out the Feesable School Fee Calculator – innovative schools are realising that informative is no longer enough, but interactive is now required to engage the modern school audience and give your school the best chance to stand out.

Get in touch with Feesable to learn more or to share your tips on how to make the most of the fees page on your school website.


Aside:

Feesable isn’t the only one who believes that the fees page is important – in doing some research we asked ChapGPT for its thoughts on the topic – this is how it summed it up:

Remember, the fees page should be easily accessible from the school website’s main navigation menu, and it should be written in a language that is clear and understandable to your target audience. By following these best practices, you can provide a transparent and user-friendly fees page for your school website. (Chat GPT: 30/5/23)