It is a core philosophy of PUGS that everyone should be able to learn without having to go into debt. That is why we allow everyone to pay tuition based on their earned wage, and we also place a high-value on providing our instructors with healthy compensation for their time and expertise - PUGS profits with instructors, not from them.
All of this may be old news to experienced PUGGERS who are familiar with our core values, but we're not sure our Radical Pricing and Generosity Policy is always readily apparent to someone hearing about PUGS for the first time. We've developed a hypothesis that some prospective students come to our website, see the listed cost of a course at, say, $200, and don't dig deeper to understand that the cost is tied to the median Portland wage of $32 per hour and would cost less if they have a lower wage.
To help bridge this information gap, we've decided to make our pricing simpler. We aren't changing our Pricing Policy, mind you, just making it more readily apparent. Instead of listing one price and hoping folks know that our pricing is flexible based on wage, we're simply going to list three prices - Standard, Middle-Income, and Low-Income.
Standard pricing will continue to be tied to the Portland median wage. Low-Income will be for people who make $15/hour or less. And Middle-Income will be for people who make between $15-30/hour. And on top of this three-tiered system, we'll continue to work with anyone who wants to take a course but doesn't fit neatly into these three boxes.
We hope that this shift in how we frame our pricing policy will mean more learning, a bigger PUGS community, and more money for our instructors. But we won't really know until we try it for a few months - our PUGS students aren't the only ones who never stop learning.
Please feel free to share your feelings on the shift in the comments or email firstname.lastname@example.org!