What are pay plans?
Gradelink provides you with the ability to create multiple payment schedules for student fees, such as tuition. For example, you may configure a “10-Month Pay Plan” as well as a “Quarterly pay plan”, so you have the flexibility you need for students who make payments on different schedules. Additionally, you have the flexibility to add multiple students onto the same payment schedule even if they have different tuition rates. “Pay plans” in Gradelink specify a student’s payment schedule, not necessarily how much a particular student will pay. The specifics of a student’s amount to pay each month will be designated in the contracts area. (See “How to place a particular student on a pay plan” below).
How to set up pay plans:
- Click on the Pay Plans button (available from the Admin tab at the top of the screen on the Financial tab).
- Choose the applicable session from the drop-down box on the Pay Plans page. Pay plans need to be set up each school year (session) in Gradelink.
- Type the title of your pay plan (i.e.- “10 Month Pay Plan” or “Trimester Pay Plan”) in the box below “Title” at the top of the page.
- In each of the boxes below “Bill on”, enter in the dates that you would like to trigger the charges to appear on the student statement. Make sure to select a date before you would potentially run the next month’s statements. For example, if you will be printing March statements the last week of February and would like the March tuition charge to appear on that statement, set the March “bill on” date to be a date prior to the last week in February.
Note: "The Pay Plans do not transfer from year to year. This is because the bill-on dates for the pay plans would not be the same. It is necessary to create new Pay Plans each year."
- In the boxes below the “Amount/Percentage”, enter in the percentage of the bill that will be allotted to that particular payment. So, for example, if I was on a ten month pay plan and I wanted each payment to be an equal amount of my total for the year, I would enter “10” in each of the boxes to indicate that I want to collect 10% of the total bill each month.The “amount/percentage” boxes are relative values, meaning that as long as I enter the same value in each of the boxes, the bill will be distributed equally among the payments. The benefit of entering in a percent or relative value into these boxes is that I can assign the same 10-Month pay plans to different total amounts. For example, I may want to assign a 10-Month pay plan to two students who have different tuition rates. This is not the area where you indicate the amount that a particular student will pay. This page is just for designating portions of the bill depending on the length of the billing schedule. The amount a particular student pays is indicated in a different area.
- The description/prefix boxes will appear on your actual billing statements and can be helpful to provide further information as to why the charges have been distributed in a particular way. Typically for a monthly pay plan, the name of the particular month is most helpful as the “description/prefix” title. For quarterly pay plans, a title of “Fall” or “Quarter 1” would be helpful.
- Click the save button at the bottom of the screen. You can configure multiple pay plans per session if your school offers students multiple pay plan options.
NOTE: If you place a student on a pay plan, do NOT manually add a transaction into the ledger if you have the transaction already scheduled on a pay plan. If you manually add a charge that is already covered by a pay plan, that student will end up with multiples of the same charge in the ledger and on their statements.
How to place a particular student on a pay plan:
- Use the contracts tab at the top of the page when you have your financial tab selected.
- Highlight the student’s name from the list on the left.
- Select the session (school year) the student will be on a payment schedule.
- Select the contract date. This date is just for your informational purposes only, but you can use it to keep track of the date a parent agreed to a particular payment schedule.
- The “Transaction Type” is referring to the fee that the student will be paying over the course of the year, for example, you could select “Tuition” or “After Care”.
- In the Payment Plan drop-down, select the appropriate schedule for that student.
- In the Total Amount box, enter the total amount the student will be charged over the course of the pay plan (in most cases over the course of the entire school year). Gradelink will automatically calculate the installment charges for you each month/quarter, etc.
How to maintain your scheduled billing:
In order to accurately track billing, the financial section is divided into billing cycles. At the end of each month, you will need to open and close your billing cycles in order to keep your financial area up-to-date. When a billing cycle is “open”, it means that you may add transactions into a student’s ledger. Once you close the billing cycle, you will be able to run a statement and any installment charges that you have set up for a student on a pay plan will automatically be added into that student’s ledger and will appear on the statement. Maintaining your financial area is as simple as opening and closing the billing cycles each month.
At the end of the month, go to your billing tab at the top of the screen and be sure to close out the month and open the next month. You can do this by clicking on Billing at the top of the page when you have the financial tab selected. Then click on the billing month you wish to close. In the drop-down menu below “period status”, you may change the status from “open” to “closed”. Then click on the next month in the list and change the period edit status from “pending” to “open”.
Billing cycles must be changed from pending to open, and finally to closed in the appropriate sequence.
If you are setting up your financial section in the middle of the school year, Gradelink recommends leaving all the billing cycles in a “pending” status to enter in your past transactions for students. A “pending” status will allow you to freely make entries in the ledger for that date range. Once you have completed your historical entries, we recommend closing the billing cycles.
Enabling installment charges allow contracts to be posted once the bill on the date occurs rather than waiting for the billing period to be closed. In order to enable this go to Financial–>Admin–>Settings. From here you will see a checkbox “Enable installment billing dialogue (supports mid-period posting)”.
Make sure this is checked to enable the setting and return to the billing tab to see its effect. In the billing tab when you click on a billing period there will now be a new box called Contract Installments. This will indicate any pending contracts that need to be posted and how many have been posted. Just click the Post/Refresh Month-to-Date Installments to make sure that contracts get posted on their bill on dates.