250,000th Student Enrolls in Tuition Rewards®, Unique College Tuition Discount Program

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The 250,000th student has joined Tuition Rewards®, a unique program that rewards families for saving for higher education with points that can be used to reduce tuition costs at a national consortium of nearly 300 private colleges & universities in 45 states. Harding University, Ouachita Baptist University and Saint Joseph’s College (IN) are the newest member colleges. The SAGE Scholars-sponsored program encourages families to save for college and helps member colleges recruit students.

The 250,000th participating student has enrolled in Tuition Rewards®, the unique college funding program from SAGE Scholars, Inc. that guarantees discounts off the full price of tuition at nearly 300 participating private colleges, from Maine to Hawaii, to students enrolled by participating financial institutions and employers.
The enrollment of 1,600 new student accounts affiliated with the Pennsylvania state 529 program’s Guaranteed Savings Plan pushed enrollment past 250,000. A record 34,000+ new students have joined Tuition Rewards thus far in 2012.
The program boosts enrollment at 296 independent colleges. Three additional schools have joined the enrollment marketing consortium in the past few weeks: Harding University and Ouachita Baptist University, both of Arkansas, and Saint Joseph’s College (Rensselaer, IN). Participating students submitted $19.0 million in reward points with applications to member colleges for the current college freshman class; the average reward amounted to $2,790 per year for a projected four years of undergraduate study, starting with the freshman year.

Challenging students to pursue scholarship, service, teamwork, excellence and commitment, Harding (Searcy, AR) offers its 4,390 undergraduates a choice of more than 100 academic majors, including 14 pre-professional programs taught by top instructors. The University offers seven study-abroad programs -- in Australia, Chile, England, France, Greece, Italy and Zambia -- that expand cultural awareness and understanding.

Harding students can participate in more than 110 academic and professional organizations and 29 social clubs that explore a variety of interests. The university’s sports teams compete within the NCAA Division II Great American Conference. Provided with a Christian perspective to appreciate various disciplines, Harding students excel as scholars and develop leadership skills. As a result, alumni display conviction and a competitive edge, prepared for success at graduate schools and companies throughout the nation.
Ouachita Baptist (Arkadelphia, AR) is the 13th member of the International Association of Baptist Colleges & Universities to participate in the Tuition Rewards consortium, which includes 61 independent colleges in the South. Arkansas is also represented by Lyon College and the University of the Ozarks.
Ouachita offers a strong academic experience, a close-knit campus community and life-changing opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. Ouachita focuses on academic excellence, with majors in seven schools: Business, Christian studies, education, fine arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. Offering outstanding international study opportunities, the University currently is home to 1,532 students from 29 states and more than 30 nations. Graduates have a 96% grad school acceptance rate.
Ouachita’s Christ-centered learning community features more than 40 campus organizations as well as social clubs, intramural sports and numerous ministry opportunities. A member of the NCAA Division II Great American Conference, Ouachita’s 400 student-athletes compete on 16 intercollegiate athletic teams. With a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, there’s no getting lost in the crowd or overlooked for opportunities to grow academically, spiritually and personally.
Saint Joseph's, a coeducational college welcoming students of all faiths, is the 74th Catholic member college and 16th Indiana member of the Tuition Rewards® enrollment consortium. 112 Midwest independent colleges now participate. Butler University joined the consortium in August.
Founded and sponsored by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, SJC is only a 90-minute drive from both Chicago and Indianapolis. SJC provides students with a close-knit, supportive environment focused on the liberal arts, hands-on learning, marketable communication skills and the personal one-on-one attention needed for career development.
Complemented by the nationally-acclaimed Core Program -- the only interdisciplinary academic program of its kind -- SJC offers 26 majors, 4 group majors, 33 minors, and 9 pre-professional programs to an enrollment of approximately 1,100 students. Integrated with the major for four years, Core enables students to start their major in freshman year.
Neither colleges nor participating families pay to join. Financial organizations using Tuition Rewards as a value-added benefit pay a fee to cover administrative and marketing costs. Colleges absorb the scholarships, which are capped at one full year’s tuition, as a marketing cost to effectively reach out to a wider student audience than individual colleges could on their own.

“SAGE Scholars hitting the milestone of 250,000 enrolled students should serve as a very practical reminder to college enrollment executives that SAGE has become a major player in the prospective student ‘match-making’ arena,” said Doug Swartz, former VP of Enrollment at three member colleges and chair of the SAGE Advisory Council.
Dr. Allen P. Splete, former President of the Council of Independent Colleges and a SAGE Advisory Council member, agrees: “The SAGE Scholars Program, as attested by its level of growth, has proven to be an effective way to make private colleges affordable.”

Dr. James Johnston, CEO and founder of SAGE, is a former Director of Admissions and Financial Aid for the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton MBA program. Johnston predicts that Tuition Rewards will grow to 500,000 enrolled students and 400 colleges within three years. He feels that SAGE performs an important public policy function: “With the current economic climate and the resulting pressures put on higher education by state budget cutbacks, Tuition Rewards has become an important incentive to motivate families to take responsibility for planning and saving for higher education.”

About SAGE Scholars:
Founded in 1995, SAGE Scholars promotes private higher education and its member colleges to the 250,000+ enrolled students. Member colleges may contact students once they reach 9th grade at no charge. Tuition Rewards is the nation's largest private college funding program based on participating students and value of eligible assets.

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Robert Savett
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