Our all volunteer homeschool co-op charges fees for several things:
- A $20/family registration fee.
- A $12/family fee to pay a cleaning crew for cleaning.
- The building usage fee is $40/student/school year.
- A $4 PayPal fee per transaction.
Then some of the class teachers charge a supply fee or require the parents to purchase books, etc.
Is there a way to simply these fees?
I’ve seen lots of homeschool groups with complicated fee structures. There are separate fees for the facility, the supplies, the insurance, the website, etc. The list of fees on the parents invoice is 5-6 separate lines!
Something like this is invoice overkill!
Most preschools, private schools, colleges, etc. include all their fees into one tuition fee charged to parents. (Okay, I know that colleges love to charge lots of fees for supplies, etc. and then can claim they are not increasing tuition!) The school adds up all the expenses to operate their program and charge the parents enough to cover those expenses (that’s why a budget is so important). They lump everything into one bill to the parents called “tuition.”
Instead, just lump it all the fees into one fee, call it student fees or “tuition,” if you like. The parents do not need to see all the details of what goes into running the organization; that’s what the board does. The budget is the place to list the expenses and see if the tuition charged is enough to cover all the expenses.
P.S. About the Paypal fee you’ve been charging…Paypal forbids you tacking on an extra charge to cover their fee. It’s in the User Agreement your organization agreed to when you signed up for a Paypal account. It says, “You agree that you will not impose a surcharge or any other fee for accepting PayPal as a payment method.” So just roll that fee into your total fee charged to parents.
Carol Topp, CPA
Helping homeschool leaders