We’re excited to let educators know about an upcoming experiment that will provide the option to offer weekly payments for any multi-week class, instead of one upfront payment.

Before diving into the details, we want to stress that this feature is optional; every educator may choose whether to implement weekly payments or continue charging multi-week classes with one total fee at the beginning of the course.

Additionally, we’re running this update initially as an experiment (learn more about platform experiments here). Only a segment of all parents (approximately 50%) will have access to the weekly payment option, at first. This allows us to gain more insight into the impact of this update for families and educators, and helps us make an informed decision about how or if to implement this change on a larger scale.

The weekly payment experiment will launch for families by mid- to late March 2023, and educators are being given several weeks to implement this optional change for their class listings before the experiment goes live. The Outschool team has already interviewed educators and parents during our experiment development process and will continue to gather user feedback throughout this test.

This new payment feature is the first piece of a larger effort to streamline and improve class formats for both parents and educators taking place this year. We’ll be sharing more info on what that big picture looks like very soon—so be sure to check back here and keep an eye on your inbox!

Why offer weekly payments?

This platform update enables educators to choose whether they would like to either:

  1. Require families to pay for multi-week classes with one upfront payment (the current payment process).
  2. NEW: Allow families to pay weekly for multi-week classes (exactly as they do for ongoing classes).

With this option, educators can give their multi-week classes the same payment flexibility as ongoing classes. This applies to all classes that run for more than one week, including Flex classes (and excluding Groups).

Ongoing classes (weekly payments) currently have more than double the conversion rate of multi-week classes that require one upfront payment. That means that after families view an ongoing class listing, they choose to enroll at more than twice the rate than after they view a multi-week class listing.

We hypothesize that the flexible payment structure and lower upfront cost for ongoing classes is one strong deciding factor for parents looking for the right class fit.

By offering weekly payments for multi-week classes, educators can make their classes more affordable for all families and avoid excluding learners whose family budget does not allow for a large upfront payment.

How it works

When setting the price for a multi-week class, educators will now see the following option to enable weekly payments:

Enabling weekly payments will allow families to choose whether they pay weekly or pay the full fee upfront. Educators may also require an upfront payment.

Payments and refunds from families who opt-in to weekly payments will work as follows:

  • Families will be charged weekly on Sundays.
  • Families will be able to stop their recurring payments and withdraw from the class at any time. Learners who withdraw prior to the end of the class will lose access to the classroom.
  • Families will be able to receive a full refund for their most recent payment, providing it is within 24 hours of the charge date and before the first class meeting of the week.
  • Educators will be paid out on the same cadence as they are for ongoing classes for any enrollment that has opted to pay weekly.

For classes that allow weekly payments, it’s helpful to keep in mind that some families may elect to pay weekly and others may elect to pay upfront. This means that educators may receive payouts on two different cadences for enrollments within the same class section.

  • When parents opt to pay upfront, educators will receive payouts as is typical for fixed-duration classes as described in this policy, and those enrollments will be subject to the flexible refund policy.
  • When parents opt to pay weekly, educators will receive batched weekly payouts as described in this policy on the same cadence as ongoing classes.

For existing classes in February & March 2023

Any multi-day classes with a refund policy currently set to “flexible” will be automatically updated to allow weekly payments on February 28, 2023. All others will automatically require upfront payments (no change from current multi-week classes). You may edit this setting at any time.

Remember: Parents will not be able to see the “pay weekly” option until mid- to late March. This update will first only appear for educators editing or creating class listings.

We recommend reviewing your class listings and making any desired changes ASAP to ensure your classes are ready for when this experiment launches to parents in mid-March.

Stay informed

The best way to stay updated on this experiment and other upcoming platform updates is by subscribing to our educator emails. To make sure you’re subscribed, head to your e-mail settings and toggle on the option for “Occasional updates from Outschool.” You may also want to review the spam settings on your e-mail account and mark any Outschool e-mails as not spam.

If you have any questions about weekly payments for multi-week classes, we encourage you to reach out to support@outscool.com at any time.