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For OLLIs with per-course fees: how do you encourage people to register for more classes?

Posted on June 14th, 2012 by Anne Cardale, OLLI National Resource Center

Cathy House, OLLI at The University of Utah, Asks OLLI:

For those institutes that charge per-course fees, what methods are you using to encourage people to register for more classes? We currently offer a 10% tuition reduction on two or more courses. We are beginning to think of other methods that would reduce the overhead of processing the discounts –  e.g., an annual rebate program. I would love your insight on what you’ve tried, how it worked, member response/reaction, etc.

3 Responses to “For OLLIs with per-course fees: how do you encourage people to register for more classes?”


  1. We offer a free Osher class with their membership registration. Everyone likes this and it encourages them to participate in classes immediately after becoming a member. We target particular classes each semester for additional promotion through flyers and the blog. When possible, we’ll use photos from past classes. It’s worked well with hands-on topics in the arts and culture section. This is such an important topic - interested to see what ideas others have.


  2. New members who join for 3 years receive a $25 coupon toward a course in that semester. And like Maralie says, it encourages them to enroll in a course right away. Also, we have a Learn More Reward program that all current members are enrolled in. When they partake in 5 course offerings, each with a minimum course fee of $30, they are rewarded with one free course up to $55.00. This reward must be used towards a full course - it may not be redeemed for tours, trips, special events, membership, lab/supply fees, books or other special OLLI offerings. And there are no refunds.


  3. We offer course packages. Single courses cost $50. But we bundle 6 ($210), 9 ($275) and 15 ($325) together driving the cost of a course down the more courses you buy. Almost half of our membership buy these course packages which can be used in any way over the course of our three terms we hold during an academic year. We find that our “core” members (ones that own packages) tend to volunteer more, take more courses, donate, participate in FU Events and are generally more committed members to OLLI. Our registration system allows for them to buy the package and then place courses in the cart with no charge while counting down their course number. When it reaches 0 then they get charged per course. To encourage course packages holders we allow them to register two days earlier than single course owners thus ensuring their spot in favorite courses. They also buy an annual membership of $35. We hold a summer term, but packages only apply to our three academic term courses.

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