With over 30,000 students representing more than 60 countries, collecting tuition is no small feat for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK).
One particularly significant payment challenge that UTK faced involved international students. This segment of the student population had historically been the most likely to make payments in cash. Cash transactions were not only unsafe for students, but also incompatible with UTK’s desire to eliminate cash payments.
UTK also struggled with past-due tuition payments, as do many institutions in higher education. Students with past-due balances often asked UTK for automatic payment plans, but the University had no options available. Very frequently, this would lead to students forgetting due dates and missing payments, resulting in UTK’s use of collection agencies.
To address these challenges, Susan Forman, the Bursar at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville found the answer with Flywire’s comprehensive receivables solution.
As part of this solution, Flywire Education Payments enable UTK to provide international students an easier online way to pay their tuition without carrying large amounts of cash. UTK now securely processes thousands of cross-border international transactions from more than 60 countries in almost 30 currencies over Flywire’s global payment network.
Flywire Education Payments help UTK achieve their goal of eliminating cash tuition payments. In addition to providing international students with safer, more secure digital payment options, UTK is able to simplify the collection process and speed operations tenfold . “It has made life easier for both our parents and students and the staff at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville,” says Forman.
As for past-due payments, A/R Collect has made a major impact at UTK by providing flexible, interest-free payment plan options that accelerate cash flow. “It has brought our stats up tremendously!” exclaims Ashley Curtis, an Accounting Specialist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. “The first month we brought in close to half a million dollars of past-due balances by being able to offer these payment plans to students.”
UTK is now communicating more proactively, collecting more, and sending fewer past due payments to collection agencies. “It’s just such an easy process,” says Curtis. “It helps me, it helps my co-workers at the University of Tennessee, it helps the parents, the students and I could not be happier.”
Flywire’s comprehensive receivables solution enables us to offer students more flexible payment plan options. With A/R Collect, we save time by using digital automation to contact and help more students on a daily basis. We can now easily pull up a dashboard and set up payment plans to fit specific financial circumstances. Being able to visually see what students see and customize payment options not only speeds our process 10x, but we frequently get thanked because we treat each student like a human being and not just another bill.
Ashley Curtis, Account specialist II