There are a lot of differing opinions out there on how a martial arts school should be run. One of the harder questions to answer is what happens when a potential student can’t afford to pay tuition.
Offering discounted tuition without guidelines is definitely a practice to stay away from. Not only do school owners have to worry about potential backlash from students finding out others pay less than them, it is actually shown that discounting student tuition devalues the instruction in the eyes of students and prospects.
It’s a common practice to offer scholarships or discounts for things like teaching or cleaning the school. But there is another option that can solve this problem and it can help grow the school and provide valuable lessons that are in line with the culture of martial arts.
If organized and done correctly, this helps the student, school and community in multiple ways. Imagine a student, who wants to sign up, needs the life benefits of training but can’t afford tuition. If that student gets turned away, they could sign up at the school down the street or even worse, never get to learn or grow from developing as a martial artist. But if the school offered a program to trade validated community service hours that go towards tuition discounts, then everyone benefits.
To avoid devaluing your program, set a dollar amount for every community service hour a student works. Make sure that they are wearing your school shirt or logo for every service hour they put in. And SHARE YOUR WORK! Post pictures and videos of your students volunteering on your social media accounts, and have them write posts about their experiences and lessons learned on your blog. Imagine the attention your school will get in the community by a number of your students lending a helping hand and sharing their experience, all while representing your school.
The community would be grateful for a helping hand. The school owner gets “free” positive marketing, doesn’t devalue their program and is the driving force in making an impact in their town. The biggest winners are the students who participate. Not only do they get to join the school, they get to receive an extra lesson in what it means to sacrifice and work hard to accomplish their goals. Which is one of the biggest lessons you can get from practicing Martial Arts.
Get additional marketing ideas for your school by downloading our free 10-Step Marketing Guide for Martial Arts Schools.