Educational programs, schools, and boot camps alike are beginning to incorporate Learn Now Pay Later (LNPL) into their financial offerings, but what about certification programs?
First Off, What is a Certification Program?
Typically, certificate programs prepare students to work in a specialized trade or update their professional skills. Certification programs can range from welding to nursing to even some coding programs.
They can also vary based on what experience level they’re designed for, from total novices to employee upskilling programs. Most certificates can be earned in less than a year – some in as short as a few weeks. Because they take less time to complete, they also cost a lot less than earning a degree for students.
But how exactly does offering Learn Now Pay Later at your Certification Program help you?
They open access to more students
Even programs that begin at more accessible price points can often be too large a barrier for many students. As a result, more and more students choose to forgo upskilling or finding a new career due to financial limitations.
Many students want to upskill and get the tools needed to start a new career, but they need more options to pay for their program.
Students are met with more financial barriers each semester, causing too much friction between them and higher ed success, forcing students to end their journey earlier and more often than they otherwise would.
By offering LNPL-style tuition solutions at your school, students have the opportunity to take classes when they otherwise wouldn’t.
They provide a consistent way to fund your program
Many students cannot pay the total price of an education program up front and need different financing options.
However, many certification programs do not qualify for Title 4 funding meaning their students are usually limited in how they can pay for a program, oftentimes turning to private loans.
LNPL provides certification programs with a consistent, yet student-friendly way to offer different financing options to their students. Offering payment plans like a Pay-in-4 or Fixed payment plan gives your students a more flexible way to pay while also providing your institution with consistent funding.
In addition, LNPL (through tools like Meratas) also offers a variety of other repayment options that can be tailored to the needs of students. For example, some students may want to make larger payments to pay off their program faster, while others may need to spread their payments over an extended period.
Overall, LNPL provides certification programs with a flexible and manageable way to provide financing to their students.
They signal the value of your program to prospective students
The number one thing we’ve identified as a barrier to increasing enrollment is too few payment options for students. Offering multiple payment options not only provides your students with more options to pay for their training, but it also shows the value of your program against others that are less flexible.
Most schools are solely focused on building strong student success teams, investing in their student experience, and improving student outcomes.
While it makes sense to invest in these things, schools aren’t seeing increases in enrollment with these changes. Enrollment is still declining, and students are dropping out of their programs even more consistently. More than 1 million fewer students are in college. According to new data released in January of 2022, U.S. colleges and universities saw a drop of nearly 500,000 undergraduate students in the fall of 2021, continuing a historic decline that began the previous fall.
While student experience is an unquestionably important pillar of any institution’s overall growth strategy and should be invested in, they need more than that.
LNPL programs allow certification programs to control their future and help them hit enrollment goals while also improving retention and signaling the value of their course to students.
They make employer partnerships easier
For programs that are designed with employee up-skilling in mind, LNPL options make it easier to establish employer partnerships.
These kinds of partnerships can provide great returns for these institutions. By offering LNPL options for the employer to finance their employees’ upskilling program, employers can spread the cost of upskilling out over time, which is a massive value add for your institution that many other upskilling programs wouldn’t be able to otherwise offer.
The best way to attract new students is by offering them options to pay for upskilling their careers in your certification program. If you’re ready to begin offering your own LNPL financing options and fill empty seats at your program, you need Meratas. Meratas is an all-in-one, cloud-based platform to originate and service Learn Now, Pay Later style tuition programs. If you want to learn more, check out our partner’s page for more information or schedule a meeting with a member of our team. Check out our Partners page to learn more!