After working with and surveying a number of studios through Dance Studios Web Design, we’ve noticed a growing issue when it comes to students joining late in the semester and the discrepancy in how some studios handle proration. We’ve come up with some ideas that can help dance studio owners still make a profit, while not sending away late students to their competitors. Several studios gave us insight as to how they managed pro-rating classes:

1) Partial prorate: I think the most interesting solution is to prorate depending when they join.  Example for a 10-month term: ($575 cost)
Join Month 2:  pay 9 months full prorate: $517.50
Join Month 3: full prorate= $460 versus a partial pro-rate of $488.75
Join Month 4:  full prorate=$402 versus a partial pro-rate of $445.00
2) Private Catchup: An important aspect of a student joining mid- is not necessarily the financial aspect but the ability for the student to be properly placed in their appropriate skill level.   Several studios commented that the only way they will allow mid-term enrollment is if the student involved has a quick evaluation and then one or two privates to catch them up to their group.
3) Drop-in classes: Allow students to drop into a class or two before making the full term commitment.  This allows you to make an evaluation of the student abilities, allows student to try your school and prevents parents joining late for the purpose of saving 1 or 2 months of tuition. If you’re worried they may not exactly meet one of the levels, place them in a lower level and explain to the parent that once you have monitored the student’s progress they may have the option to be moved up the next semester or even the current semester if it’s not too late.
4) Don’t allow it: One studio is quite firm in their viewpoint of just not allowing it.  Their tuition is paid twice a year students would not be able to join regular classes until the new semester starts. The nice thing about not prorating you are helping your bottom line PLUS helping students.