All payments on Acadeum's Academic Sharing Platform (“ASP”) are centrally processed through our software platform via ACH payments for optimal efficiency. Acadeum uses third-party software from Stripe, one of the largest and most secure payment processors, to power inter-college payments within the ASP. All payments are automated by the platform and are only charged for enrollments that make it passed the Teaching Institution’s ("TI") drop period for that course section.
Each institution is required to establish a primary contact at their institution to handle all financial affairs for activity using the ASP, referred to as the Primary Finance Contact (“PFC”). This individual will verify the account with an Acadeum admin during an initial set up period, will receive all email notifications of activities per transaction including invoices, and will act as the point person to Acadeum admins for any payment related questions. Note: multiple recipients can receive the payment-related emails sent by the system through use of a group or office account that uses a shared email address such as "firstname.lastname@example.org."
During the onboarding and implementation period institutions must provide Acadeum admins with the ACH information for the bank account they would like to use for their operating activities on the ASP. Institutions will be guided through a 30-60 one-hour payments set up call with an Acadeum admin to answer any questions related to payments and to get payment accounts set up. It is required that each school designate a specific user as the Primary Finance Contact (“PFC”) who participates during this payments set up process.
Once payments accounts have been established, institutions will be ready to operate on the ASP. A few key points on how payments operate on the platform:
- ACH debits and credits: 100% of payments on the ASP are ACH debit or credit, without exception.
- A school-to-school payments network: Acadeum is explicitly a b2b, or as we like to say ‘school-to-school’ network. On our platform Teaching Institutions (“TIs”) function as ‘vendors’ who charge Home Institutions (“HIs”), or ‘customers,’ directly. TIs control the price point for the course sections they offer, a price point which can be managed on a term by term basis as the TI chooses. This price point charged by TIs referred to as a “Registration Fee.”
- Payment automation: All enrollment payments are automated based on the dates provided by the TI for their course sections. The charge date for any enrollment on the platform is the day after the drop date for that course section as designated by the TI. When loading course sections onto the platform a TI will designate a drop date for the course sections which acts as the last day that a student, or their HI, can drop from the course without receiving a grade of “W” for withdrawal, and without the TI charging the HI for that enrollment. If the student remains enrolled in the course past the drop date, our system will automatically initiate a charge to the HI on behalf of the TI for the full Registration Fee amount. For operational efficiency payments are batched so all enrollments with the same drop date for that specific HI-to-TI relationship will be charged at once.
- HIs charge students: HIs retain the payment relationship, and obligations, with their students. Neither Acadeum nor the TIs bill students for any enrollments on the platform. When students log into their institution’s student registration portal they are explained as such, and that they should work with their HI’s office of student accounting/bursar’s office as they do for any other course offered by the HI.
- Payment flow and timing for TIs: All payments are run via ACH debit or credit. Standard timing for ACH payments in the United States is 4-7 business days per ACH transaction. Payments on the ASP flow as follows:
Payments to TIs on the platform consist of two ACH transactions: The Registration Fee is charged to the HI via an ACH debit. These funds are then centralized by Stripe, who then credits the TI account with the amount net of Acadeum’s Enrollment Fee of 25%. This net amount is deposited in the TI’s bank account via ACH credit. This means that the full duration of time from the charge being initiated to the funds being deposited in the TIs bank account can be up to 14 business days. Though please note that the average duration is closer to eight calendar days.