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How Much Does School Management Software Cost?

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[Update: 2/23/2017] This piece has been updated to reflect price changes as well as addition software options.

Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them. –Henry Ford

Finding school administration software can be frustrating—so much so that school administrators are doing handstands and cartwheels instead of trying to figure out a reasonable software price for the size of their school or district. After all, the actual amount school management software costs can be really tricky to figure out.

Luckily, I’ve peeked behind the “free trial” and “call now!” walls that school administration software vendors have created for customers and broken down just how much a school can expect to pay and what school management software costs.

Per student

Many school management software vendors, like QuickSchools and MySchool, scale their pricing models based on the number of students that the program is servicing. This model starts at $0.99 per student and ranges to $22.00, sometimes per month and sometimes per year. The average monthly cost per student is $5.94, and the median monthly cost per student is $5.00.

Other Per Student Software Options

Monthly

Other plans offer a month-to-month plan, and these plans can be more tricky to parse out. For example, Populi’s largest package starts at $1199.00 per month and also charges $5 per student—but comes with incredible features like 3000 GB of file storage (this model isn’t recommended for schools with less than 840 students). On the other end of the spectrum, Administrate’s light user program starts at just $9 a month.

Other Monthly Payment Software Options

One Time

Sometimes school administrators would prefer to pay for the entirety of their software up front. Doing so typically costs thousands of dollars, the cheapest of which is run through RollCall at $4,000.00. The average one-time cost of school administration software is $3,566.67, whereas the median brings that price up to $4,000.

Other One-Time Payment Software Options

There’s no way around it: School administration software is expensive.

Unfortunately, the truth is that it’s more expensive to forgo the software.

Roi (return On Investment) Concepts

School administration software reduces costs in three major ways. Bill Gates once said, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.”  That said, introducing school management software will not fix structural problems, but it will save your school time and money in both the short and long term.

  1. Reduce Paper Costs: Schools run on paper. From student files to applications to report cards, paper is a major expense that most schools struggle with. School administration software organizes and manages everything online. This gives schools the potential to save thousands on paper alone—and makes them more eco-friendly to boot!
  2. Reduce Employee Hours: Automation reduces working hours. If you’re relying on hourly employees to do the tasks that have now been computerized, let school management software do the heavy lifting. Save money on overtime, benefits, and salary by switching to an automated system.
  3. Reduce Meeting Time: No school could function without regular meetings… or could it? Most school management software options provide streamlined communications systems so that parents, teachers, and administrators can all work together—without wasted face-to-face time. Efficiency is king when it comes to software, and school administration software makes communication less of a time sink throughout the academic year.

School administration software creates additional time for productive tasks and has relatively low maintenance fees. The systems can usually scale with the school, regardless of whether you have a growing or shrinking student body. For all of these reasons, school administration software tends to be a net benefit more often than an expense.

school management software cost

With all that said, there are legitimate reasons for schools to hesitate before buying school administration software. The startup fees can be a non-starter for many districts, and, while most programs are intuitive (think about set-up-and-go programs like Moodle), some training might be involved for software that does more heavy lifting. Training takes time—I understand the hesitation.

That said, those initial costs will be well worth it in the long run. Parents will be happy to hear that you’re making your school more efficient for the sake of the students and the school. And with cases where school districts are saving millions by just switching to school administration software, the choice to switch is obvious.

More?

Once you’ve decided that you want school administration software, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with which product to choose. If you need help picking out the best software solution for your school, check out Capterra’s free school administration software directory, where you can filter your options based on what you want your solution to do for your school.

If these prices fall outside of your budget and you want to try out a system before you transition to a paid option, be sure to check out our top free and open-source school administration software list.

Have you tried any of the options provided in this piece or any other school administration software in our directory? Be sure to leave a review so that we can provide up-to-date experiences for new software buyers!

Looking for School Administration software? Check out Capterra's list of the best School Administration software solutions.

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About the Author

Rachel Burger

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Rachel is a content manager for Capterra, a free online resource that quickly matches businesses to their software needs. She specializes in construction and project management . She also runs her own blog on content marketing. On the rare occasion Rachel isn't writing, she's reading, hiking, jogging, or spending time with her friends and family.

Comments

I think its better to have a SAAS model school management system. It will have a annual fee, but they will be managing the system. You don’t need to worry about the issues.

School software can be used for many years, so the best option is One Time purchase. Paying monthly will add up one more task to the school management, so it’s better to make a one time purchase. Also in the long run, this will save a lot of cost.

It’s true that chosing the right software for school management is tricky. And as Aju A S mentioned, having a SaaS model works out very efficiently for both the school as well as the company providing the software. I’m quite impressed with Fedena for now. It has almost all the modules we need in a school and is very competitively priced and the service is excellent!

Awesome content, this is good to save money and time and this school management software reduces many time and money. Through software the work will be more accurate.

nice expain ..school management software very usefull for all school bcoz its save time ,school handling very easy with school management software…

Hi there! You have very nicely described the cost benefits of your school management software. Many school admins repeatedly ask for the cost effectiveness of such software solutions and always come across a million different answers. I was once confused as I was looking for a suitable software solution for my academic institute. After using a number of school management systems, I finally stopped on Archivist and am using it to this date. So far it is fulfilling all my requirements in lesser cost and higher speed. It may help you as well.

I found this excellent article on SIS budgets, Its so very true! http://blog.school-time.co/budget-school-erp-implementation/

Good article. Great explanation

It is true in any industry ERP plays a very vital role in smooth functioning of the Organization. The school industry is running on low cost basis so engaging recurring cost is quite expensive. There is one more Education ERP Software i.e. Educo ERP which is specific for school or education industry, suffices all the purpose, user friendly, Cost effective etc.

Rubycampus is an affordable school management software coming with comprehensive features and mobile app
http://www.rubycampus.com

I find it interesting that you don’t include either school administrative software options offered by Education Service Center, Region 20. These software options iTCCS – internet based Texas Computer Cooperative Software and TxEIS – Texas Enterprise Information Systems are Texas based systems used by 80 percent of the school districts within Texas. Both are extensive packages which include student as well as business software and have been in a technologically evolving existence since 1968 – 50 years. You might want to do additional research on these two products. They are part of the larger Texas Computer Cooperative (TCC) and listen to he needs of the Texas educational community.

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