A lot of school leaders lack clear-cut school fee collection strategies. But how do you develop one that works?

A girl and her teacher in school.

School fees are the major source of revenue for running a school but sadly, a lot of school leaders lack a clear-cut school fee collection strategy.

The truth is if you are one of them, your school is sure to suffer a loss.

Whether you like it or not, there are parents with the bad habit of paying school fees late.

There are also others that want to evade the payments of school fees as a whole.

But in this article, you get to learn how to collect your school fees without scaring parents away.

So, let’s get started.

Understanding why you have to aggregate your fees

Many parents have a misconception of what a school fee is.

To some parents, school fees are the fees a student has to pay to be able to attend classes, excluding other types of school fees like

  • Uniform fees
  • Sports Wear Fees
  • Medical fees
  • ID card fees
  • Report Card fees
  • Notebooks
  • Textbooks, etc.

The mistake most school owners make is separating the tuition fees (what most parents see as school fees) from other fees.

This, in the long run, makes parents willing to pay only fees they think are necessary.

As a school owner, you have to devise a strategy to convince parents of the importance of each fee.

And in doing this you have to keep the reputation of your school in mind.

Talking about reputation, I would like to outline the type of private schools in Nigeria. With this, you should know where your school belongs and how to make parents pay school fees.

So continue reading…

Classes of schools that exist in Nigeria

The highly sought after schools

These kinds of schools are schools with a high standard of academic excellence.

They have succeeded in beating competition over the years and need little or no advertisement.

They take rigorous common entrance exams to take in only the best students.

These types of schools are also highly expensive too. You find mostly rich and middle-class students there.

The Special Schools

These kinds of schools are not in need of every type of student.

They are schools that don’t follow the Nigerian curriculum, such as British schools or American schools.

Students who attend these schools have future plans to further their tertiary education abroad

The Average Schools

These are schools that are not highly sought after but are also not struggling to get students.

These schools also have a particular educational standard they aim to maintain.

Students in these schools are mostly middle class or rich students.

They are the kind of schools we call, good schools.

The Upcoming or Struggling schools

These classes of schools sit at the bottom of the pyramid.

They are not good schools per se, and a few of them cannot be regarded as bad schools either. 

These types of schools are usually located in areas with a high concentration of schools. So, they have to compete gravely to gain students.

Have you found out the kind of school you run?

If no, then you can run a survey. Ask students or parents or teachers.

When you have done this, you would be able to know how to apply the strategies below better.

School fees collection strategies

These strategies are divided into various classes according to the kind of school you run.

The Highly Sought After Schools: 

  • If students fail to pay their school fees on time, it is possible that their parents forgot. So, try calling them or sending them a text or email to remind them. 
  • Request for school fees teller at the gate before students are allowed to enter into your school premises.
  • Make sure parents pay a large percentage of the school fees before their children are allowed into your school.
  • Mete out penalties for school fees defaulters, like making them leave your school premises.
  • Your school already has a reputation and parents had a glimpse of how your school runs before enrolling their children. So, be resolute in your school fees collection.

The Special Schools

  • Students who go to these schools have rich parents who are extremely busy. If a student fails to pay his/her school fees; call, email or text their parent to remind them.
  • Parents who often send their children to this kind of school are usually connected. So, communicate with them gently. They always comply.

The Average Schools

  • Make parents pay a large percentage of the school fees before their children are allowed entry into your school premises.
  • Send school fees defaulters home after weeks of severe warning and non-compliance.
  • Threaten the parents with midterm tests. Tell them their children would miss the test if they fail to pay up. 
  • Remind the parents about their unpaid school fees every two-three weeks.
  • Seize the report cards of defaulting students
  • Don’t make the mistake of sounding harsh to the parents. But be resolute.

Upcoming Schools

  • Allow parents to pay school fees in installments
  • Don’t sound harsh to the parents when asking for the school fees. Remember your school is upcoming and there is a competition.
  • Threaten to exempt school fees defaulters from exams, to make their parents know that you are serious.
  • Send unpaid school fees to notice to remind the parents of their debts frequently.
  • Don’t flog or punish the children for their parent’s inability, it might bring consequences.
  • Roll-over unpaid school fees to the next term, as” outstanding school fees” hopefully the parents would pay.


There are some other general strategies that you have to apply as a school owner to ensure your students pay their school fees.

Most times, it is not always the fault of the parents. Maybe your chosen process of school fees payment is so stressful.

Continue reading to find out these general strategies on how to recover fees from students…

General Strategies for school fees collection

In addition to the class-specific strategies, there are other generic strategies you can use to collect your fees.

Using them in addition to the ones mentioned above will ensure that you don’t leave anything to chance.

So let’s dive in.

Choose a fee collection system that can capture a wide variety of fees

In school fee payments, there are a wide variety of fees to be covered. There are tuition fees, medical fees, uniforms, ID card fees, etc. 

Make sure that your chosen system is one that is able to collect the fees together and group them into their various categories.

Remind parents of school fees payment early enough

Nothing works more than consistently reminding parents of the school fees they ought to pay. Especially if there is an increase, due to one reason or another.

Make the payment of school fees easy. Make available enough school fees paying platforms

If parents learn that they can pay their child’s school fees into a payment option they find more comfortable, there won’t be any trouble. 

Grant parents comfort in the paying of their child’s school fees and watch the aftermath.

What next?

At Trenova Private School Growth Academy, to deploy the Nova Strategies for Private School Growth to build a private school that leads the market and dominate the competition.

For 12 years, we have worked with over 10,000 private schools and 15,000 school leaders to grow their enrollment by 100-600 in a single term, increase annual revenue, reduce school fees debt and increase staff productivity.

We have helped some to increase revenue from 8m-150m in 3 years and many to double their businesses in 2-4 years.

Let’s work together to grow your school.

Ebuka Evans

Ebuka Evans is a freelance writer. He currently studies at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he pursues a B.A. in English and Literary Studies.

1 Comment

Akinwunmi · January 9, 2020 at 3:13 PM

Good presentation

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