Schools help take the pain out of payment in all sorts of ways. Some offer a monthly payment structure and there may be reductions for paying by direct debit. Others accept a capital sum to commute future fees, the discount offered depending on market conditions and how long in advance you buy them. Ask what the school can offer.
If you experience trouble paying the fees, get in touch with the bursar as early as possible − not when the fees are overdue and you cannot find the cash; there may be some help available. The credit crunch has led to an increased problem of bad debts for some schools and bursars are reportedly calling on lawyers a lot sooner than in the past.