Tuition Increases

Kaygee

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I know, I know! I always come here when I have one of these types of questions. But what would my life be without this population's such colorful and helpful answers??

In all honesty though, I always receive a lot of support and advice when I ask a question here.

That being said, I joined a new gym at the beginning of November. The monthly there tuition is $120. I left my Tang Soo Do school, where the monthly tuition was only $80.

Now, there were plenty of gyms out there that were around $100 a month that I was looking at before I made my choice to attend the gym I am currently at. A $20 a month addition to my family's monthly finances isn't THAT big of a deal, and I expected a monthly increase because the $80 a month I was paying for Tang Soo Do training was pretty cheap!
I chose to spend the extra $40 a month, (with A LOT of input from my wife, lol) because the current gym that I just started at has some great people and good instructors. My wife just said I should "go for it" since I liked the gym so much.

I just found out yesterday that as of January 1st, they are raising the tuition to $130 a month.

Now, don't get me wrong, I completely understand that things like rent and cost of living goes up, and, according to the letter, the tuition hasn't been raised for a few years, so I don't hold any sort of "ill-will" towards the instructor/owner for the tuition increase.

But I wonder....since I haven't put much time into this school at this point, should I just drop my expectations and go to a cheaper school? My wife and I had a long talk about adding an extra $40 a month to our monthly expenses so I could drop Tang Soo Do and attend the new gym last month.......now we would be adding $50 more per month.

I guess it wouldn't be that bad if I was at the gym for a couple of years, because the $120 a month would just be "part of my monthly expenses" and I would only be adding $10 to it. Most of the guys that have been attending the gym for years have all stated that, "$10 isn't a big deal", and like I said, I am sure it isn't to those already used to paying $120 a month, which I am not.

But, in reality, come January, I am now adding an additional $50 a month to my monthly expenses as compared to what they were in October, and if I knew that it was going to be $130 a month before I joined at the beggining of the month, I most likely would not have even considered the school. The problem is, I am getting in fantastic shape, learning a lot and having fun......so this is where the problem arises.

Does anyone have any advice? Do you peeps even think that type of price is even worth any sort of MMA/BJJ training?

I know no one can really "tell me" what I should do because no one is in my current financial status, nor did I provide mouch information about it, but I will put it this way:
It is pretty tight every month.

Thank you for reading!
 

Never_A_Reflection

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Tuition increases happen--it's the nature of teaching martial arts for a living that you will, on occasion, have to make more money than you used to in order to keep living the way you do. That said, some instructors are still willing to be flexible. Have you talked to your instructor about the strain on your finances to see if there might be anything you can do for the school in exchange for lower tuition? I know of people who clean their schools in exchange for lower fees, and I help teach youth classes and keep up with the dojo's social media in exchange for my tuition.
 

Tony Dismukes

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How good are those $100/month schools for your needs? If you can find a school that you would be just as happy with and that costs $30/month less, than go for it. It's not as if you've been at the new place long enough to put down roots yet.

On the other hand, if those other schools don't meet your needs, than the savings probably aren't worth it.

Do check with your current instructor to see if they offer different plans. Some schools have different rates according to how many classes you attend per week, etc.

I've been lucky enough to attend a gym with very reasonable rates. However, from what I've seen in other places your school isn't really out of line with what they are charging.
 

Tames D

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I think it should have been disclosed to you when signing that there would be a tuition increase coming up shortly.
 
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Kaygee

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I think it should have been disclosed to you when signing that there would be a tuition increase coming up shortly.
This is something that I never thought about. You're right!
 

harlan

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10$/month=120$/year
50$/month=600$/year

I switched banks because I didn't want to pay a $10 service fee to simply store my paycheck. It was a service and I had no emotional ties/loyalty. For a GYM, where I can use free weights at home, run or bike on my own time, I wouldn't think twice about leaving. For me, the question would revolve around the martial arts training, and the level of commitment (two-way street) to a teacher/style and what I expected to get in return in the long run.

Only you can decide.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Basically what tony and never_a_reflection said...find a school you would be ok with, or talk to your instructor. I'd suggest talking with the instructor first, though, and let him know (politely) that you are prepared to look at other schools if money is too tight. $10 for him is less likely to break the bank than $50 for you, and it's even possible (unlikely but possible) that he'll lower his rates to the competition's rates if your willing to help him out around the gym because $100>$0
 
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Kaygee

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10$/month=120$/year
50$/month=600$/year

I switched banks because I didn't want to pay a $10 service fee to simply store my paycheck. It was a service and I had no emotional ties/loyalty. For a GYM, where I can use free weights at home, run or bike on my own time, I wouldn't think twice about leaving. For me, the question would revolve around the martial arts training, and the level of commitment (two-way street) to a teacher/style and what I expected to get in return in the long run.

Only you can decide.
You're right! I can get the kettle-bell and the 25lb dumb bells and medicine balls at a store and use them at home. That would cover the fitness classes that are offered at my gym. The martial arts training is good, but I never took MMA/BJJ before, so I don't much to compare it to...however, I did attend a lot of free trial classes at other gyms and they did not have the schedule that meets my needs. I could pull some of the other places off, but it would be tough and I always thought that the training should fit INTO my daily life with my family, etc, not the other way around. Which is why I chose the current gym.
 
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Kaygee

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Basically what tony and never_a_reflection said...find a school you would be ok with, or talk to your instructor. I'd suggest talking with the instructor first, though, and let him know (politely) that you are prepared to look at other schools if money is too tight. $10 for him is less likely to break the bank than $50 for you, and it's even possible (unlikely but possible) that he'll lower his rates to the competition's rates if your willing to help him out around the gym because $100>$0

See, but then I would worry about his attitude towards me. I am too sensitive when it comes to these sort of things and I would no longer feel comfortable being there if I had this conversation with my instructor.
 

Steve

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The way my school works is that you are locked in at the rate you start with. Rate increases only apply to new students. It's a great system, IMO.
 
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Kaygee

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The way my school works is that you are locked in at the rate you start with. Rate increases only apply to new students. It's a great system, IMO.

Agreed!
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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See, but then I would worry about his attitude towards me. I am too sensitive when it comes to these sort of things and I would no longer feel comfortable being there if I had this conversation with my instructor.
Well, if you don't want to talk to him about it, not sure what else you can really do :/ sorry...
 

James Kovacich

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For it to balance you need to receive something better "for you" than you from your other schools. If you do, then its ok because in general you pay for what you get. I said in general because there are expensive schools that really suck. If you can afford it and the training is right for you then you'll make the right descision. You left TSD for a reason, right?

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dancingalone

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Does anyone have any advice? Do you peeps even think that type of price is even worth any sort of MMA/BJJ training?

I recently started taking lessons at a Gracie Barra school as part of my "continuing education" in MA. Don't know if I will stay with it (my immediate goal is to earn a blue belt in another 6 months). Just to give you an idea: I pay $180 a month for 3 classes a week and a weekly free mat session. I'm told this is actually quite cheap for Gracie Barra. <shrugs> It's certainly more than I charge at my ma school. But cost isn't a factor for me and I feel I am receiving good instruction/value even though I attend maybe 2x a week if I am lucky. I realize I am paying for ACCESS to a lot of skilled hobby level athletes to roll with and spar with and that is a blast. I've never had this many guys to practice with that don't mind getting up close and personal with you.

I know no one can really "tell me" what I should do because no one is in my current financial status, nor did I provide mouch information about it, but I will put it this way:
It is pretty tight every month.

If the money means you won't be able to sock away even $50 a month into an emergency fund, then you really need to save the money. First things first, you know.

Good luck!
 
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Kaygee

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You left TSD for a reason, right?

Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2

I did! I had three goals when joining martial arts.

1. Get in shape
2. Learn how to defend myself
3. Make new friends

After 2 1/2 years of TSD training, I achieved none of those goals.
 

dancingalone

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See, but then I would worry about his attitude towards me. I am too sensitive when it comes to these sort of things and I would no longer feel comfortable being there if I had this conversation with my instructor.

By the way as a school owner I have had this conversation a number of times in the last year with parents. I generally don't have a problem reducing fees on an individual basis if the family is running into difficulties. Once you reach a certain level, provided you have sufficient capacity with floor space and instructors, there is little marginal cost in discounting tuition, i.e. it costs me nothing to keep on a loyal student even at a reduced fee, so why not keep them around rather than have them quit over $30 or so.

You would know your instructor best, but I am offering a perspective from someone who does currently operate a ma school as a business.
 

Instructor

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Really? I feel like am friends with all my students.

I did! I had three goals when joining martial arts.

1. Get in shape
2. Learn how to defend myself
3. Make new friends

After 2 1/2 years of TSD training, I achieved none of those goals.
 
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Kaygee

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You would know your instructor best, but I am offering a perspective from someone who does currently operate a ma school as a business.

I've only known him for three weeks now. But he does not seem like the type that would reduce it, and even if he did, like I stated, I would always feel that he would be holding some sort of grudge or hatred towards me for reducing it.
 

jks9199

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I think it should have been disclosed to you when signing that there would be a tuition increase coming up shortly.
They may not have known... Lots of things (lease periods, change in utility costs or services that came up, or just plain end of year review of the books) could have triggered the price bump.

On one hand -- it's "only $10" over what he'd decided was payable. There are lots of ways to economize an extra $10 a month, if you want to. Of course, depending on how tight things may have been -- most or all of those steps may have been taken already. I don't know his budget... and that's the other hand. Sometimes $10 is really not there...

It comes down to the question of how he values the training... and that's just something I can't answer for him.
 
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