The scenerio you build is unfortunately common IMHV. The place, its members, teachers are the necessary factors. If money is the bottle-neck, the "governing" issue, asking is always one option. To do so, having observed several classes, and making certain the place is somewhere we actually want to study, is a good approach.
Showing up once, we only learn a little... important none the less. The second, third times, seeing the same quality, the atmosphere you want to be a part of.. a place you want to spend long-term time.
Having watched carefully, more than a single moment gives a good impression. Fees can be waved, equipment borrowed, positive arrangements made?
Someplace that won't flex hopefully won't live long...