Required fees come in many different forms but the core concept is fees are based on fields set on the contact record either by the school or information previously provided by the parent or by the parent on the contract.
Examples of required fees:
- New Student Registration Fee
- Book Fee
- Technology Fee
- Special Program Fee
- Sports Fee
- Annual Fund Contribution
- Boarding Option (some schools roll this into a tuition amount rather than separate line item)
Required fees can also be optionally collected at the time of contract signature. See the deposit section for more information.
Required fees can be fixed amounts or can be a percentage of the Tuition amount. Let's look at an example with a Sports Fee. Within Settings-->Financial-->Contract Fees, we can see that this is a required fee with a fixed amount.
Within the contract, the required fee will display under the 'Additional Fees' section with the amount and a customized description of the fee as shown below.
In addition, the required fee will also display in the 'Totals Summary' and can be included as part of the deposit, if this option was set in the contract fees page. When included as part of the deposit, all amounts due will be itemized and included in the 'Amount Due Now.'
Manually Entered Required Fees
Required Fees can also be manually assigned to a student, similar to Scholarships. They are entered on the contact record as fixed amounts and then they appear on the contract. The 'Display Name' for the field will appear on the contact record and on the contract as the fee name.
Optional fees are fees that can be selected by the parent on the contract.
Examples of required fees:
- Busing Options
Optional fees can be a fixed amount or a percentage. The percentage can be calculated based on any combination of tuition, required fees, financial aid, and scholarships. Optional fees can be shown based on business rules.
Optional Fees vs. Required Fees
By using a question and field on an earlier page of the contract, required fees can behave a lot like optional fees. So which should you use?
Required fees have the following advantages and should be used:
- If the deposit is calculated as a percentage and the fee should be included as part of the calculation, required fees can be included but optional fees cannot.
- If the fee should be collected as part of amount due at the time of contract signing.
- When pulling reports off fees selected is desired. The data that drives the fee can be stored and reported on more easily.
- Schools want to define defaults or if the parent selected that option in prior years and that selection can be carried forward.
Optional fees have the following advantages:
- Selection can be part of the Tuition and Fees overview page, rather than a prior page.
- Percentage can include required fees.
Percentage Based Fees
Percentage based fees can be charges or discounts. This is most often used for payment plan fees that are discounts rather than additive fees (for example, a discount for paying in full). Within Settings-->Financial-->Contract Fees we can see there's a 2% discount if a family pays in full.
When we click on 'Edit' along the right, we can see the fee details, which allows you to set what you fees you want the percentage of.