Fresh crayons, sharp pencils, free backpacks in all the office supply stores… yep, it’s back to school. As students start spilling across your thresholds, you may start to think in terms of dollar signs. Tuition fees are what keeps your institution going, but what happens when you can’t collect? Don’t sit in the corner with a dunce cap – let us award you a knowledge scholarship. We’ll teach you the basics of how debt collection companies can help you stay at the head of the class.
All Spelled Out
Even the most to-the-point invoice isn’t going to hit its mark if it’s off the mark. Teachers aren’t immune to typos, and newer electronic features such as auto-correct can sometimes auto-incorrect. The very first thing you should do with your educational invoices is the old red pen technique – check and edit! Are students’ names spelled correctly? If you’ve got an incorrect name, even a slight misspelling, it can result in the student denying responsibility. Do you have the right address? The complete address? For example, if a student lives at “123 Main Street, Apt. 10” and your invoice only shows “123 Main Street,” the mail carrier may have no idea which mailbox slot to put it into.
Hit the Books
You may not consider yourself a bounty hunter, but in some cases of skipped, missed, past-due, or bounced payments, you may have to be. Or, you can consider the ways that collections companies can help you, which starts with a technique they call skip tracing. Agents will hit the books, the internet, even the streets to find those paper trails and electronic ways that people leave behind information about themselves. This includes social media (you may or may not be surprised just how much people post about themselves online!) and current/past employers, where applicable.
Hall Pass with Honors
Students will offer up all sorts of reasons why they haven’t yet paid their debts, with credibility ranging all over the page. Even some of your most lauded enrollees, those earning Greek honors, may have trouble with their bills. It’s usually on your shoulders to determine who has legitimate reasons to delay payment and who you have to go after. Collection agencies are monitored in a similar way, and even have their own version of Greek honors. Out of the entire country, only 60 collection companies achieved their “summa cum laude,” the PPMS certification from the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals. You won’t find these organizations tossing their mortarboards in the air, just upholding the highest level of service in the collections industry.
Just as a teaching assistant (TA) can be an immense help to an overworked educator, collection agents can help you with your invoicing. They’ve got years of experience crafting collection letters, which they can brand to appear as coming from your institution with the school crest, logo, motto, and more. Some collections companies can even set up phone calls if you don’t feel your invoices are hitting home. By “enrolling” a collections company to help with your invoicing, you get to maintain that respectable relationship with your students – let someone else hand out the detentions.
Head of the Class
So you’ve studied hard, even earned your extra credit and still, those invoices are falling on deaf ears. What can you do to recoup your money and keep your hard-earned place at the head of the class? OK, we’ve got one more assignment for you. But you’re sure to ace it. Download this free invoice verbiage template. It includes tips from those who’ve been in your shoes before and provides real scenarios you can start implementing right away. See you at graduation.