...a tale told with bullet lists
Simple as we think our pricing is, the college software industry seems to have primed our market to think that we've just gotta be hiding something... or lying. Some typical exchanges:
- Us: Populi has no upfront costs.
College: Okay, how much do you charge for implementation?
- Populi charges per active student.
What do you charge for alumni?
- We do not charge for software updates.
How much do you charge for new versions of the software?
- The entire program is included in the price.
What's the charge for extra modules?
- For one price, everyone at your school can use it.
How much for additional licenses?
We get these questions because almost no one in this business makes their pricing clear or even public. Just look on any education software website and try to find a number—any number—indicating what it might cost. Most of them want you to trade a bunch of institutional information with them for a "free, customized quote". Our customers who've moved over from other systems (and prospects evaluating others alongside Populi) tell us that even these "customized" quotes are opaque and deliberately obfuscating. So when schools look at our pricing—which tells you what you get and what it costs—previous experience has trained them to read between the lines. This industry has made small schools cagey about just taking us at our word.
So, we'd like to present to you a basic summary of what's covered on our Pricing page and in our Terms of Service. Here's what's in between the lines, as it were:
- We have three pricing plans (Small, Medium, and Large) aimed at different-sized institutions in the small college market.
- Each plan includes a monthly Base Rate (which covers unlimited faculty, staff, and so on) and a per-student price.
- By "student" we mean "active students". Active students are only those who were enrolled or auditing a course for more than seven calendar days in a given month.
- We charge you this month for last month's active students. So, your September 1 bill includes your base rate and whatever active students you had in August.
- The base rate and per-student price are all that we charge you (well, there's also a late fee if you don't pay your bill). Between them, they cover absolutely everything that we offer with Populi.*
- That includes the software, support, infrastructure, implementation, maintenance, upgrades, and whatever else you can think of.
- We integrate with some other services which might cost you money. We don't charge you—they do—we simply provide you with the integration tools.*
- We don't charge you to set up the system, train your users, provide support, maintain historical info, back up your data, add new features, store your alumni, let your students log in... and whatever else the other companies nickel and dime you for.
- We just don't! We're not out to get you. We're not sneaking stuff in. We're not making stuff up.
In other words, there's nothing between the lines.
Here's an example of how our pricing works:
In April, you have 100 enrolled students and auditors for the whole month. On May 6, your Summer Term begins and 90 students go home (25 of whom graduated and are now alumni). Ten students stick around for Summer Term to make sure they're caught up for Fall Term. You're on the "Small" pricing plan ($199 Base Rate, $7 per Active Student).
- Your May 1 invoice, which charges for April's students, comes to $899—$199 + ($7 x 100).
- Your June 1 invoice, which charges for May's students, comes to $269—$199 + ($7 x 10). Not even a penny changes hands for those alumni.
- In April, you have full access to everything Populi offers.
- In May, you have full access to everything Populi offers.
- For that matter, in June, you have full access to everything Populi offers.
Of course, you might still have questions. We understand, and we're happy to tell you what you want to know—about our pricing, or just about anything else about Populi. We don't have anything to hide.
* So you know, we're considering some "premium" options that'd cost extra. We, of course, promise to be clear and upfront about them, too... but there's nothing concrete to announce at this point.