I guess it would depend who is your instructor and the reputation of said school. I know schools around me charge $125.00 per month and testeing fee's are $75.00, I am below that average by the way. Also it depends on the part of the country you are in and how is the economy around you.
I would say its just based on the value that you feel is conceived.
As far as $79 a month, that's not really anything too high in fact its probably mid range in my experience. I think it depends on competition and how many Dojo's/Dojang's/Kwoons are in the near vicinity.
There are quite a few Schools in this area that are charging $100 plus a month.
But I would prefer more of a Lai Si policy, as opposed to tuition costs. But we have to realize that regardless of the Teacher's best intentions or not if they have a professional Martial Arts School than it is a business, and has various expenses incurred.
So to make a long story short, I would say is money the only factor involved?
In other words do you feel you would gain something from the training, as opposed to going down the road for $50 a month. Or maybe the $50 a month has more knowledge or is a better Instructor, or etc...
So I would say if its worth it, than yea I would pay it but if not then keep shopping.
I think it's too much, 'cause I couldn't afford it. I pay $50 for a 3 month session, unlimited classes, $35 for belt tests, and $35 for one mandatory school tournament each session. Also get a family discount on the belt tests and tournaments.
The monthly rate seems mid level maybe even below average in a lot of areas. The testing fees seem high to me just because I don't think $60 for a under black belt test is warranted. Is the certification coming from a major organization in Asia somewhere?
Truthfully what everyone else here said about the testing fee's being high is probably right. However, you are in Tennessee and what you need to do is to compare that to several other local schools to see if it is similar or way out of line. Good luck!
In the metro areas in Tn. like Nashville, the average rate runs about $139-149 per month for a full time school with a good facility. It's a bit less in most of the suburban areas and I don't know what they are charging for in the small towns out in the boonies. Now, this is low to mid-range for the small part-time schools that offer only a few classes a week and combine all levels and ages in their classes.
It depends upon what your getting for it. American Combato in Seattle was way more years ago, but it included two one on one 30 minute sessions per month with the founder of the system. I got a lot out of those 30 minute one on one sessions, and when you figured in what one on one sessions with the head guy cost in other schools, the amount was reasonable.
It sounds reasonable to me as long as you can take three to four classes a week.
My school is 130 a month and 40 per belt (we don't have belt tests, you're just told you've ranked up) for two classes a week (really four, if you have the means to travel two towns over every two days)