Do you cancel class for low enrollment?

Q: Do you cancel class for low enrollment? I have asked a class of four students to join a same-style class offered at a different time. Three students have agreed. One cannot make the other class time and her mom is upset with me. Any suggestions?


A: There are times when it makes sense to keep a small class running, particularly for a specialty program, advanced levels or when there is no proper alternative for registered students. However, when the low enrollment is causing you to lose money, or the teacher reports that the small size is having a negative impact on the class’ energy, it is best to cancel.


Acknowledge that you understand that they may be upset or disappointed by the inconvenience, and let them know that you would be happy to give a refund if another suitable time cannot be found.


A week before the start of our classes, we call the parents of a student registered in a class that has not yet met our minimum enrollment, but does have alternatives. We let them know that we will run the class for the first month but, unless it fills to that required level by then, we will cancel. For those who don’t want the uncertainty of potential cancellation, we help move them into another suitable class immediately or offer a refund, if necessary. We have found that doing this diminishes frustration.


Be sure to post your enrollment policy clearly on your website, registration forms and all printed material. Consider a statement such as, “We reserve the right to cancel any class with insufficient registration, and a refund will be given for any cancelled class.” When you’re keeping the well-being of your studio in mind, you can confidently decide when it’s right to cancel.


Kathy Blake owns Kathy Blake Dance Studios in Amherst, NH. She and Suzanne Blake Gerety are co-founders of

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