FAQs on Eligibility and Process for Sliding Scale Application
Q: Who must use your application form to apply for the sliding scale?
A: Anyone requesting a rate below our rock-bottom minimum rate, currently $150 per week with a 45-minute session. Those requesting less than the minimum may discuss the matter individually with their coach.
Q: Is there any other way to reduce costs?
A: Yes, first you can commit to a longer term of coaching. A three month contract gives you an eight percent reduction, taken on the third month. A six month contract gives you a twelve percent reduction taken on the sixth month. Second, you can be part of a group teleconference for $100 a month for the first three weeks of the month. This gives you opportunity to share with others on the call.
Q: Who may be eligible for the sliding scale?
A: Anyone who reasonably believes that their financial circumstances are sufficiently different from those of other coaching clients as to merit their paying less than the market rates applicable to the majority of consumers of coaching.
Q: Are there types of applicants for whom the sliding scale is probably not appropriate?
A: Yes. We're glad you asked. The sliding scale is NOT a way for clients to end-run market rates for coaching (generally up to $160 per week, though usually less at Riptide Rescue). We would of course ALL like to pay less for everything. For reasons that should be obvious, though, we must discourage applications from people who, compared to others, arguably have sufficient funds, but who simply do not wish to prioritize coaching among their other expenditures (Example: "I need to pay less for coaching because I am already spending a lot on a personal trainer, car payment, acting lessons, dog-sitting, home renovation, etc.").
We have also found that if a potential client does not value coaching in accordance with the value placed on coaching by the rest of the coaching market, but is of a scarcity or lack of abundance mindset, that person is more likely to take the coaching less seriously and therefore to make less progress.
Q: Why do you require an explanation of my financial circumstances? Shouldn't that always be private?
A: The short answer is: You are asking that your coach earn less for his or her time and skill than he or she could be paid by other clients, and people have strikingly different interpretations of what they can "afford". So we must have standards.
In other words, the sliding scale is for that objectively in need, rather than those who could afford coaching at or near market rates but either subjectively do not value it as much as other expenditures in their lives or see the sliding scale offer as an easy discount. Itís all pretty subjective in the end, but getting a sense of a personís income, expenses, and assets, as the government, pro bono lawyers, health clinics, or other providers do, is the only way weíve found that is fair to coaches and to other applicants and that minimizes abuse of the offer.
All information submitted remains completely confidential.
Q: Do you offer coaching to all people regardless of financial situation?
A: No, we don't. We do some free or drastically reduced coaching outside of the work we do through Riptide Rescue. This is usually done through our group seminars which is topic based rather than an individual coaching session which pertains to any personís specific goals, situations or desires. Through our business, however, we are only able to accept a modest number of sliding scale applicants who have a true, demonstrated need for a reduction in price.
Q: Can you give an example of someone who would be eligible for the sliding scale's below-market pricing?
A: Someone who is unemployed, or has a very low income, and who has significant non-discretionary expenses, or someone who has a fairly good income but has unusually high expenses, such as large medical bills due to a catastrophic event and the like.
Q: What about someone who would likely NOT be eligible for the sliding scale's below-market pricing?
A: It's all relative, of course, so eligibility depends on the circumstances of other applicants.
First, someone is unlikely to be eligible if their high expenses are primarily discretionary, which is to say, they already pay market rates for things that aren't necessities but would like to pay less for coaching due to their other, higher priorities. The sliding scale is for an inability to pay, not for placing a different value on coaching than the rest of the market of consumers. The solution for differing values is to find a less expensive coach or other means of answering one's needs.
A second category of those who may be asked to rethink their coaching budget includes those who are comfortable using credit for other types of expenses but wish to apply a cash-only monthly budget only to coaching.
Third, someone with above-average assets, such as a house (or two), an expensive car, and a stock portfolio, is, absent other circumstances, less likely to be eligible.
Q: Is there a minimum time commitment for coaching on a sliding scale?
A: Yes. This offer is available only for coaching arrangements of 3 months or longer.
Q: When and how do I pay?
A: Sliding scale clients will pay either the entire amount upfront, via credit card or check or, if your coach permits it, you will pay in installments. Please be aware that if you pay in installments, the first installment(s) will be larger, or close to the normal price, while the later installment(s) will contain most of the discount.
Q: Who makes and pays for phone calls?
A: Generally the client does both. Except in extraordinary circumstances, the client always takes the initiative to make the call. Sliding scale clients may discuss with their coaches whether sustaining the call represents a disproportionate financial hardship to the client, and whether the coach might therefore call the client back on the coach's dollar.
Q: How do you know if the information I give you is true and accurate?
A: We don't. We have to trust in clients' integrity. If we came to feel the sliding scale offer was being abused, we would need to consider ending it or asking for stronger evidence of financial status (such as tax returns), but we have no wish to do that.
"The whole process of mental, spiritual and material riches may be summed up in one word: Gratitude"
Joseph Murphy, 1966