Registration and Tuition FAQ
Please don't hesitate to contact us in the office if you have any further questions.
- What are the fees I'm responsible for when I enroll my daughter?
- How should I handle the online enrollment process if I'm also applying for financial aid?
- Why are we using a tuition management service?
- Why do we use FACTS for our tuition management service?
- Is it safe to use FACTS?
- What services does FACTS provide?
- Why does FACTS charge a fee?
- What is the Northwest Girlchoir registration fee for?
- What does Northwest Girlchoir tuition cover?
- Was there a tuition increase this year?
- What forms of payment are accepted?
- What is ACH, and why are we using it?
- Why is there a credit card fee?
- How do I know when payments from my account to Northwest Girlchoir will happen?
- When will my FACTS fee and my Northwest Girlchoir registration fee be paid from my bank or credit card account?
- What happens if I discover that I won't be able to make a scheduled payment?
The main choir fee is tuition, which ranges from $815 for Prep Choir to $2,025 for Ensemble. If you have more than one daughter in choir, all but the eldest receive a 10% discount on their tuition. The other fee to the choir is an annual registration fee, which is $75 for Prep Choir and $100 for all other choirs.
Payment is made via the FACTS tuition management service, which might assess a fee, depending on the payment schedule you select. FACTS processing fees for multiple installment plans range from $10-$41, and credit card fees are 2.75% of the total tuition.
If you intend to request financial aid, please complete the enrollment form and FACTS registration. You will not be charged any tuition or registration fee until the scholarship application process is complete.
We know that our special expertise lies in the field of music education and performance. We have learned that many educational organizations, including private schools and choirs, use an outside company to administer the collection of tuition. After careful study, we decided that we could provide superior service and gain efficiency by using a tuition management service.
We began using FACTS Management Services for the 2012-2103 choir year after careful research and evaluation of several competing tuition management services. FACTS has been in business for nearly thirty years, and serves over 5,000 institutions, including numerous local private schools. We interviewed local school officials, as well as administrators at several choirs around the country, and all were enthusiastic in their endorsement of FACTS because of its reliability and ease of use. We now thoroughly agree with what the controller at a local private school told us, "after using FACTS for a year, you will wonder why you didn't do it years ago."
FACTS is regularly audited, and maintains its financial data in a secure fashion. All internet communication with FACTS occurs on an SSL encrypted connection, so all of your transactions with FACTS are confidential and secure.
FACTS maintains the information on all payments and balances for choir tuition, choir registration fees, and choir tours. They provide a detailed schedule of payments to each family, and complete the actual transfers of funds to the choir. FACTS provides easy, detailed reports to both the choir and the choir families on all transactions, so we all know which payments have been made and which are upcoming. They also provide timely reminders in advance of each scheduled payment, as well as follow-up reminders in the event an attempt at payment does not succeed.
The only income to FACTS for the service they provide to our choir is the annual fee they charge per family. The FACTS fee varies with the number of payments per year. If the entire tuition is paid at once, there is no fee. For two payments, the total fee is $10. For the eight-payment or ten-payment options, the fee is $41.
When each chorister registers with the choir, the office staff devotes resources to preparing for that chorister's participation in the coming year. Music is ordered and then distributed among the chorister folders. Emergency health and safety binders are created with current and accurate chorister information. Rosters and attendance records are prepared for all choristers. The registration fee covers the time and materials to make these initial preparations each year, as well as updates throughout the season.
What we call the choir tuition fee actually pays for much more than instruction. It also pays for the choir uniform, sheet music for the year, a choir T-shirt, and a group choir photo, as well as contributing to concert venue rental, accompanist fees, and much more.
Across all the choirs, tuition increased 3% for the 2015-2016 season to cover a modest increase in administrative and artistic costs.
With the FACTS registration system, accepted forms of payment are ACH (bank account transfer) and credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express). Please note that payments made via credit card are assessed a 2.75% processing fee. We also offer the alternative of a one-time, lump sum payment directly to the choir office by check or cash, due before the first rehearsal.
Payment by ACH is a method of efficiently transferring funds between bank accounts. It is very similar to payment by check, except that there is less paperwork. Each paper check has printed on it the same bank routing number and account number as are used in an ACH payment.
We use ACH payments because they can be scheduled in advance, and are much more efficient to administer than paper checks. Paying by ACH is similar to paying by check, except that you don't have to remember to write the check, you don't have to mail it, and we don't have to deposit it.
Credit card companies charge a fee for the service they provide. FACTS is unable to cover the card fee, given the low annual fee they are charging. The choir could cover the fee, but then we would need to raise tuition rates to compensate. This seems unfair to those families who choose the more efficient ACH method of payment. We therefore need to pass the credit card fee on to the families paying by credit card.
You will receive a confirmation from FACTS with your full schedule of payments for the year. You can go online to the FACTS website at any time to view your account, and see your past and upcoming scheduled payments. A few days prior to each scheduled payment, you will also receive a reminder notification from FACTS via email.
15. When will my FACTS fee and my choir registration fee be paid from my bank or credit card account?
The FACTS fee (if any) will be paid from your account no more than 14 days from the time the choir completes its part of your enrollment with FACTS. Your Northwest Girlchoir registration fee will be charged at the time of your first tuition payment.
We understand that people experience many kinds of financial surprises. If you find that your account will not contain enough funds at the right time to cover a particular scheduled payment, please call the choir office and let us know. We will work together to make a new plan and adjust your payment schedule accordingly.
We must be notified at least 3 days prior to the date of a scheduled payment in order to be able to make a change to that payment. Please note that the choir office is normally open Monday through Thursday.