10 Private Colleges Join Tuition Rewards Enrollment Consortium

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Clarkson University (Potsdam, NY) is one of 10 new colleges to join Tuition Rewards, a consortium of 270 private colleges & universities in 43 states. The unique program rewards families for saving for higher education with points that can be used to reduce tuition costs. 75 colleges have joined Tuition Rewards since March, 2008. 190,000 students are enrolled in the SAGE Scholars-sponsored program, which encourages families to save for college and helps member colleges recruit students.

Clarkson University, internationally known in advanced materials, biotechnology, entrepreneurship, the environment and energy, and global supply chain management, is among 10 diverse colleges that have recently joined the SAGE Tuition Rewards private college & university enrollment marketing consortium.

The growing consortium now serves 273 independent colleges, offering its 192,000 participating students a choice of participating four-year colleges in 43 states. The most popular college choices of participating high school seniors who submitted Rewards in 2010 were Drexel University (138 applications) and Duquesne University (74). 29,692 new students joined in 2010. The consortium has attracted 75 new colleges since March 2008

Tuition Rewards resembles a frequent flyer mileage program. Registered families earn Tuition Reward Points by saving with a variety of financial partners, including the Pennsylvania & Wisconsin state 529 college savings programs, The College Tuition Benefit, banks, credit unions and national marketing organizations.

When registered students attend a participating private college, the family's accumulated Tuition Reward Points are redeemed as a scholarship – a non-need based grant or discount – capped at one full year's tuition spread evenly over four years (or as negotiated). Participating colleges benefit by the ability to market to the 192,000 participating students once they reach 9th grade. Member colleges find the student demographics to be attractive – from families actually saving for college who have indicated interest in attending a private college.

"There's no downside for a college to join. It doesn't cost a college anything, and most will gain additional, well-qualified students," declared Dr. James B. Johnston, CEO of SAGE Scholars. "By providing both financial incentives and unbiased information to families, in a collective fashion, we can encourage them to sensibly plan and invest for their children's, or grandchildren's future."

The SAGE message to participating families is that a private college may be considerably more affordable than most people believe -- and not only because of generous financial aid packages available. The greater likelihood of graduating in four years at a private college -- versus remaining on the "bank of mom & dad" during a fifth or sixth year of college at a state institution – is unknown to many families. Research conducted at UCLA has shown that the graduation rate from four-year private universities is 67% -- versus 28% from four-year public universities.

"In many cases, the four-year graduation rate at a private institution is very similar to the six-year graduation rate at a comparable public institution that a student may be considering," Dr. Johnston noted.

The consortium's new member colleges are:
Clarkson University (Potsdam, NY). The institution of choice for 3,000 enterprising, high-ability students pursuing degrees in 50 rigorous academic programs, Clarkson stands out among America's private, nationally-ranked research institutions because of its dynamic collaborative learning environment, ground-breaking degree and research programs, and its track record for producing leaders and innovators. Clarkson has been bridging discovery and engineering with enterprise since 1896. Located at the foothills of the northern Adirondack Mountains and the six-million-acre Adirondack Park, Clarkson is an NCAA Division 1 power in men's and women's hockey.

Grace College (Winona Lake, IN). An evangelical Christian community of higher education, Grace applies biblical values in strengthening character, sharpening competence and preparing for service. Grace offers academically-aggressive students who have regular admission status an accelerated 3-year degree option that can reduce the cost of a college education by 50% and place them in careers sooner. Students may choose to graduate with a Bachelor's degree in three years, a Master's in four or a Bachelor's in four. Grace's new curricular model includes internships, study abroad, student teaching, research fellowships and student leadership positions , helping the 1,500 undergraduates engage more deeply and actively in their education.

Holy Cross College (Notre Dame, IN). Combining the personal attention of a small college of 500 students with the social, cultural, religious and athletic events of a large university, Holy Cross is the 14th Indiana and 65th Catholic college to participate in the Tuition Rewards enrollment consortium. Through faith studies and four core experiential programs -- Service, Internship, International Travel and the Capstone Presentation -- students develop the moral, intellectual, social skills, courage and self-confidence required for success after college. Holy Cross' 155-acre campus on the banks of the Saint Joseph River is adjacent to the University of Notre Dame and to Saint Mary's College.

Huston-Tillotson University (Austin, TX). A four-year, historically black, liberal arts university with a 135-year history, Huston-Tillotson is Austin's oldest institution of higher education. HT has seen 11 consecutive years of enrollment increases. Its mission is to provide an increasingly diverse student body with an education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, balanced with professional development and directed to public service and leadership.

Jamestown College (Jamestown, ND). Jamestown's "Journey to Success" includes a four-year graduation guarantee and a guaranteed internship. Emphasizing a student-centered experience that integrates the liberal arts with sound professional programs, Jamestown College prepares students to connect and look forward with confidence to the challenges of a changing world and its diversity of culture and thought. Established in 1883, Jamestown offers its approximately 1,000 students more than 40 areas of study, including business, computer science, education and nursing. Jamestown is the first North Dakota member of Tuition Rewards.

Muskingum University (New Concord, OH). Combines solid classroom curricula with levels of field work and independent study rarely encountered in undergraduate settings, Muskingum is the 22nd Ohio member of the Tuition Rewards consortium. Muskingum is known for promoting active interaction among its 1,700 undergraduate students, faculty and staff in classrooms and laboratories, on the stage or playing fields, in residence and dining halls, and through internships and study-abroad experiences. Muskingum is one of the lowest-priced liberal arts institutions in Ohio. Astronaut and former U.S. Senator John Glenn is among Muskingum's distinguished alumni.

Northland College (Ashland, WI). Located on the south shore of Lake Superior, the world's largest freshwater lake, Northland was a pioneer when it adopted its environmental mission in 1971. Northland has remained in the forefront of innovation for 40 years in the integration of environmental concerns in academic and co-curricular programs -- as well as by incorporating energy efficiency, sustainability and reuse standards in facility design and operations. Recently named America's 4th most bike-friendly campus (by onlineuniversities.com) and the 3rd best college town in America for hunting and fishing (Outdoor Life Magazine), Northland is the 16th Wisconsin private college to join the Tuition Rewards consortium.

Northwest Nazarene University (Nampa, ID). Founded in 1913, Northwest Nazarene prepares its more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students to be global Christians through academic excellence, social responsiveness and creative engagement. Offering more than 60 areas of study and 18 master's degrees, NNU is within driving distance of the world-renowned Sun Valley ski resort and the breathtaking Snake River Canyon, providing students with easy access to skiing, hiking, hunting, fishing, rock climbing and whitewater rafting. NNU is the first Idaho member of the Tuition Rewards consortium.

Russell Sage College (Troy, NY). Home to the only incubator for nanotechnology and emerging science ventures on a women's college campus, Russell Sage College offers interdisciplinary programs focused on leadership and entrepreneurship. The goal is to empower students to become women of influence in their careers and communities. Enrolling 700 undergraduates -- 150 in accelerated bachelor's/master's programs ("Your Bachelor's in Three") – Russell Sage allows exceptional students to enhance almost any major and earn a degree in three years with interdisciplinary coursework and an extensive internship program.

Sage College of Albany (NY). Awarding bachelor's degrees since 2002, Sage College of Albany offers its 900 students (200 in accelerated bachelor's/master's programs) a celebrated visual arts program as well as innovative programs in business, legal studies and computer science. Sage's core educational curriculum is a three-course sequence in Innovation Thinking, affectionately dubbed "i.Think" and designed to impart skills for success in the 21st century. All students – regardless of their major – encounter creative problem-solving, critical thinking, group interaction, leadership, design thinking and community engagement via i.Think. Internships are required.

About SAGE Scholars:
Founded in 1995, SAGE Scholars promotes private higher education and its member colleges to the 190,000 enrolled students and their families via its website, email and a weekly e-newsletter. Member colleges may contact students once they reach 9th grade at no charge. Tuition Rewards is the nation's largest private college savings program based on participating students and value of eligible assets. For more information, contact Dr. James B. Johnston, 215-564-9930. For a full list of participating colleges, visit Tuition Rewards.

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