94: A Netflix-Style Tuition Model at Boise State University w/ Peter Risse


Peter Risse, Associate Dean of Extended Studies at Boise State University, joined the podcast to talk about how they’re following Netflix’s lead at Boise State with a subscription-based tuition model option.

If a student is willing to commit to carrying on with their education on a regular basis, that we're going to commit to them to provide a cost effective, predictable solution and and one that they're going to get high level services in a high quality experience and the academic spirit. You're listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university, a proud member of the connect Edu podcast network. I'm Miracles A, a VP of marketing at Helix Education, and we're here today with Peter Rees, Associate Dean of extended studies at Boise State University. Pete, welcome to the show.

Thank you, Ark Thanks for having me on today. Really excited to have you and talk with you today about how you're following Netflix is lead at Boise state with a subscription base tuition model option. Before we dig into that peak, can you give the listeners a little bit better understanding of both Boise State University and your rule there. Yes, boys, State University is located in the largest city in the state of Idaho and Boise, Idaho. We are research to institution and are on a large upward trajectory of growth over the last several years and have a heavy focus in on growing our online programs and are usefulness and utility to the state of Ido. Really excited about this concept today. Can you start us off by talking about the all too common sticker shock moment that happens for students, often roughly six months into their academic career? Yes, I think the sticker shot component really, I think, starts to hit students fairly early on in their experience. In the state of Idaho, our students are, more often than not, I think, first generation college...

...students, and so they may may not have that expectation or idea of how much the university experience really does cost. Factoring intuition, living expenses, transportation and books in particular, can be very disconcerting. I think in the early days of an educational experience there's also a great deal of uncertainty about what happens on the other end of that experience, and so are these costs worth it over time, and I think we see that in the media these days, people questioning whether or not that's worth it to them. We do. So can you give us a high level overview of your subscription based passport for education model and how it attempts to solve for this problem? Yes, so passport is our attempt to introduce some better predictability in the turn in terms of time spent and needed to approach somebody's educational experience. It gives us a chance to provide greater predictability related to budgeting and it gives the student cost certainty over time.

And so, at its base, passport education really is a monthly subscription commitment on the part of the student and then the part of the university and on the part of our partner, caped credit union, to provide the student with all of these various tools so that they can help build the education into their busy lives. Yeah, Pete, let's dig into some of the various financial benefits of this model for the student, including this seven year tuition lock, as well as how you've priced out the different credit options to encourage taking more courses. Yes, so we've built passport education with two different levels that a student can pursue. The first is passport six, which is six credits available for fall, Spring and summer semesters, and passport nine, which is nine credits fall, spring and summer. And so passport six cost the student four hundred and twenty five dollars a month every month during the course of that year, and passport nine is five hundred and fifty dollars per month during every month of that year that they're committing to. The savings on that basis is...

...nineteen percent at the six credit rate, based on our academic year that we're currently finishing up, and on the ninth, on the nine credit option, it is a thirty percent savings. We anticipate that that savings will increase over the course of the next year as tuition rates are expected to increase. So I'm really interested in the cycle logical benefits of a subscription based model and Higher Ed many enterprise companies choose subscription based models because of, from a revenue standpoint, the steadiness of that recurring revenue, but are also often improves customer retention by removing the constant choice required from the customer and making the default customer action persistence not stopping, whereas typically in higher ed we're asking students to recommit and redecide every term if they want to keep going with this very hard thing that is earning their degree. Do you anticipate seeing improved retention rates because of the...

...psychological benefits of this subscription based model? You know, we really do eric the idea that somebody, and this goes back to the to why we built this, the idea that we can help a student predict and budget for this, that we can help a student predict and build in their time associated with this, is really helpful. And so if they can look at this in the long term rather than on a semester by semester basis and see the benefits both financially and then in the way that they can plan their lives out, I think that the positive will be seen very quickly. Here the commitment from the university and our partner is that if a student is willing to commit to carrying on with their education on a regular basis, that we're going to commit to them to provide a cost effective, predictable solution.

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