You can’t have watched the news or even checked Facebook without someone commenting about the recent hike in student loan interest rates. While there’s a window between now and the signing of the student loan agreements (usually at the start of the fall semester, which is maybe a month away depending on the institution in question) for Congress to come to an agreement, if the rate hike stands it could create a ripple effect that winds up splashing on your association and its members.
Many associations out there make it a point to educate college students and welcome student members into their ranks, and for that reason this news will likely impact your association in some form. Here are some problems to anticipate and some solutions to get you through!
Problem: Reluctance to spend extra money on dues
Solution: Reduce rates (Could you reduce them by 6.8%? That’s a great marketing tactic. Just kidding. Kind of.)
College students are already notoriously broke. Do you have a “student membership” rate in place? If you do already, could it be worth it to drop it further? How about extending that rate until recent grads are gainfully employed? Crunch some numbers and talk it over with your board and see about those possibilities. Also consider helping to open a local college chapter with dues set by student leaders, and lump fee paid to your chapter. There are a million ways your association can work with student groups so that you can provide services and they can still engage. It just takes a bit of creative brainstorming!
Problem: Uncertainty about financial future leaves new members concerned
Solution: Financially-centered speakers and planning classes
What about the members you already have who might be feeling the pinch, looking at their budgets, and are concerned they may not be able to afford events or dues in the future? They’re already in your association, but maybe their needs have changed. Instead of an expensive party that could be seen a an unnecessary luxury, how about a panel of financial advisers willing to give advice? That’s always going to be useful advice, and there may even be some financial experts who are used to handling clientele like your members.
Problem: Economic fears drive people away from your field entirely
Solution: Work with young professionals and students to sharpen their skills so they may, in the future, be able to climb higher in their career and hopefully salary.
You know the endless rewards of your field, but a new grad or student may not know them yet, especially if the financial payoffs aren’t seen for several years. Now’s the time for career building so your members may be able to climb those ladders higher and quicker! Of course there’s no guarantee anyone will make more money, but those tips are still very valuable!
The financial stuff is never easy. It’s time-consuming, complicated, and often feels like “homework” when you have a million other things to do.
We can at least help you clear up part of it!