Bradley University Joins SAGE Tuition Rewards Enrollment Consortium

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Bradley University (Peoria, IL) has joined Tuition Rewards, a nationwide consortium of 285+ private colleges & universities in 45 states. The unique program rewards families for saving for higher education with points that can be used to reduce tuition costs. 93 colleges have joined Tuition Rewards since March, 2008. 220,000+ students are enrolled in the SAGE Scholars-sponsored program, which encourages families to save for college and helps member colleges recruit students.

Bradley University, offering its 6,000 students a world-class education linking academic excellence, experiential learning and leadership development with an entrepreneurial spirit, is 2012’s first new member of the Tuition Rewards® private college & university enrollment marketing consortium.

More than 285 U.S. private colleges & universities participate in Tuition Rewards, a unique program developed by SAGE Scholars that rewards families for saving for college. Member colleges benefit by the ability to market to the 220,000+ participating students (once they reach 9th grade). Member institutions have found the demographics – students from families indicating interest in attending a private college and saving for college – attractive.

“This is great news for our families,” said Dr. James Johnston, SAGE CEO and founder. “Bradley has wonderful name recognition, and we hope to spread their reputation in new and creative ways that enhances enrollment efforts.”

Located less than three hours from Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis, Bradley University’s residential campus is located in a historic neighborhood just one mile from downtown Peoria, the largest metropolitan area in downstate Illinois.

The university offers more than 100 academic programs, including business, communications, education, engineering, fine and performing arts, health sciences, liberal arts and sciences. Unique programs include entrepreneurship, hospitality leadership, interactive media, sports communication and physical therapy.

Bradley students develop leadership skills in over 240 student organizations -- more than 60 dedicated to student leadership and community service. Some of the most active students participate in the nationally-recognized speech team, fraternities and sororities, NCAA Division I sports and more than a dozen diverse religious organizations.

National college guide annually rank Bradley among the top schools in the Midwest, lauding the university for its outstanding faculty mentoring, quality facilities, hands-on learning and the success of its graduates. 21 Illinois independent colleges now participate in the nation’s largest private college savings program.

Numerous nationally-known colleges are members of the Tuition Rewards consortium, including Austin College, Beloit College, Clark University, Coe College, Creighton University, DePaul University, Drexel University, Duquesne University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Lake Forest College, Lawrence University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, St. Lawrence University, University of Evansville, University of San Diego, Valparaiso University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Drexel University (146 applications) and Duquesne University (86) were the most popular choices of the SAGE students during 2011. In the last 12 months, participating high school seniors were offered more than $18.1 million in Tuition Rewards scholarships, which are given by member colleges as discounts off full tuition.

“As attested by its level of growth, the SAGE Scholars Program has proven to be an effective way to make private colleges affordable,” said Dr. Allen P. Splete, former President of the Council of Independent Colleges and a SAGE Advisory Council member.

In the past six months, new members of the Tuition Rewards enrollment consortium also include La Salle University (PA), Lawrence Tech (MI), Mount Saint Mary's College (CA), Oglethorpe University (GA), Rocky Mountain College (MT), Rochester Institute of Technology (NY), Saint Leo University (FL) and Unity College (ME).

Neither consortium colleges nor the participating families pay to join. Financial organizations that use 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.

"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. Johnston, the former Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at The Wharton Graduate School, University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Johnston predicts that Tuition Rewards will grow to 500,000 enrolled students and 400 colleges within three years. Johnston believes 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.”

The SAGE message to participating families is that private higher education may indeed be “within reach” -- and not only because of generous financial aid packages available. SAGE stresses to families the greater likelihood of graduating in four years at a private college.

"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," noted Dr. Johnston.

About SAGE Scholars:
Founded in 1995, SAGE Scholars promotes private higher education and its member colleges to the 220,000+ 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.


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Robert Savett
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