“FACTS works, so we can work on other things.”
When Jodi Mutch moved to rural Michigan years ago, she and her husband enrolled their children in the only private school within driving distance – Holy Name Catholic School.
At the time they weren’t familiar with Catholic education, but over the years, Mutch and her children grew to love the school and its mission. She also appreciated various technological conveniences offered by Holy Name, including FACTS Tuition Management, which sent her automatic notifications about tuition payments and afforded them flexibility in payment schedules.
After her children graduated, Mutch – having been in and around the school community for so many years – took a position as Holy Name Catholic School’s administrative assistant. The FACTS contract ended at that time and the school moved to a different system that, according to Mutch, just didn’t work for them.
The Diocese of Marquette began looking at alternatives for Holy Name Catholic School and the other Catholic schools within the diocese, circling back again to FACTS.
“I just knew from the parent experience, it was always good at FACTS.” said Mutch.
Holy Name Catholic School chose FACTS during that process, while other diocesan schools went with a different provider. Now, three years later, all diocesan schools have made the switch back to FACTS.
“In any private school, customer service is the number one advantage we provide,” said Mutch. “I love that FACTS has the same customer service philosophy. If a parent has a problem, I call FACTS and get a live person right away. When I hang up the phone, I can turn to the parent and say, ‘Here’s what happened and it’s fixed.’ I love having a vendor who provides the best customer service experience for our families.”
After Holy Cross Catholic School moved back to FACTS, Mutch found herself responsible for much of the implementation on the school side.
“I sat there with my laptop, took a deep breath, and just started,” said Mutch, as they began moving about 200 households into FACTS.
Mutch said it took about two weeks to bring every Holy Cross family into the FACTS system, and in the process, there was learning and discovery on both sides.
“I never felt alone during implementation,” said Mutch. “I’ve worked with enough products and vendors to know if someone’s really in the trenches with me. I could ask the same question that my FACTS implementation specialist had probably answered fifty times before, and I never felt like it was a problem. She always answered kindly.”
Mutch has one piece of advice for schools moving into implementation: don’t panic.
“It’s really okay,” laughs Mutch. “Start by training your own people, so you can anticipate questions. It can help to print out instructions and put them in a binder to train new people. For visual learners, videos can be helpful.”
Over the years, Mutch has grown to appreciate several specific things about working with the FACTS system, including being able to show each parent their specific discounts via their scholarship and tuition plans. Also, she likes that divorced parents can have their own payment plans. In the event that families are faced with a sudden crisis like a health scare or a death in the family, they can also use the delinquency report to identify and provide additional support to those families in need.
“One of the additional benefits to our school is seeing a decline in uncollected monies while also freeing up our staff’s time. We have about 320 students, with just one administrator and one assistant,” said Mutch. “It makes a huge difference when FACTS can help us connect with families and send notifications because it allows us to focus on families and our mission.”
After implementing FACTS, Holy Cross Catholic School’s delinquencies have dropped from $60,000 at year-end to $12,000 and continue to decline.
“Collecting delinquencies was not my favorite thing,” said Holy Cross Principal Joseph Carlson. “FACTS collecting delinquencies has made a huge difference in our budget health. Plus, not having to worry about delinquencies has allowed me to invest more time in our school’s culture, academics, and spiritual growth.”
“We appreciate FACTS working, so we can work on other things,” agreed Mutch. “Our principal can just be the principal now.”