­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­New Group Rates for Wilmette Institute Courses

The Wilmette Institute has announced new—and fairer—group rates for all of its online courses. The result will benefit all members of groups, but it will be especially helpful for two-person groups and for couples wishing to take courses together. A bonus for the Wilmette Institute will be slightly increased income from larger groups. The new rates will go into effect in on September 20, 2014, with the Climate Change course.

Here is how the new group rates will work. For a course with an individual rate of $100 for a seven-week course (individual rates vary, depending on the length of the course), the group rate will be $150 plus $30 for each group member after the first member, with the fee rising by $30 for each additional member up to six members (the largest number for a group):

2 members       $180
3 members       $210
4 members       $240
5 members       $270
6 members       $300

The result is that individuals in a two-member group will pay only $180, as opposed to $200 if they signed up as two individuals. Each member of a six-member group will pay only $10 more person than in the old group-rate system.

Of course, the rates for individuals and groups will be higher for three-month courses, but they will be proportional to the individual rate.

In the system being discontinued, rates for groups were typically two to two-and-a-half times individual rates, which penalized two-member groups. But six-member groups were paying as little as one-third as much as an individual, which penalized the faculty, as large groups require more faculty effort and time.

For any group, large or small, all charges must still be made on the same credit card. The Wilmette Institute cannot divide up the group rate among the group members. We recommend that each group select a point person, or secretary, to handle the credit-card payment and to divide the total among the group members.

At the end of 2014 the Wilmette Institute will review the effectiveness of the new group rates.

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