Butler University Joins Tuition Rewards® College Enrollment Consortium

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Butler University (Indianapolis, IN) has joined Tuition Rewards®, a nationwide consortium of 290+ 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. 98 colleges have joined Tuition Rewards since March, 2008. 240,000+ students are enrolled in the SAGE Scholars-sponsored program, which encourages families to save for college and helps member colleges recruit students.

“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.”

Butler University, a nationally-recognized university that blends the liberal arts with first-rate pre-professional programs, has become the 15th Indiana member of the Tuition Rewards® private college & university enrollment consortium.

Close to 300 colleges participate in the Tuition Rewards consortium, with Bradley University (IL), Dominican University of California, Hannibal-LaGrange University (MO), Hollins University (VA), Savannah College of Art & Design (GA), Simpson University (CA) and Trevecca Nazarene University (TN) also joining in 2012.

Founded in 1855, Butler University offers more than 65 majors to a community that last year included 4,034 full-time undergraduate and 4,667 total students from 45 states and 52 countries. Butler is located in a residential neighborhood approximately five miles north of downtown of Indianapolis, the state capital and 12th-largest city in the United States. The 290-acre campus is hailed as one of the most attractive in the Midwest for its park-like setting.

The University has 339 faculty members, enabling an average classroom size of 20 students, ideal for discussion-based learning. Butler’s student to faculty ratio is 11:1; there are no teaching assistants. Students come to campus, make connections and stay: 87% of students return to Butler following their freshman year. The University prepares each graduate not simply to make a living but to make a life of purpose; graduates have enjoyed an average 93% job placement rate over the past five years.

Butler emphasizes the goal of integrating the liberal arts with professional education by creating and fostering a stimulating intellectual community built upon interactive dialogue among students, faculty and staff. More than 94% of students are involved in more than 140 official student organizations; 100% participate in community service.

Butler offers 19 varsity sports. Except for football and women's golf, all will begin competing this fall in the NCAA Division I Atlantic 10 Conference. Known nationally for the March Madness performance of the Butler Bulldogs -- who, despite low seeding for regional play (#5 and #8), played brilliantly to reach the NCAA men’s basketball tournament finals in both 2010 and 2011. In the 2012 edition of America’s Best Colleges from U.S. News & World Report, Butler is ranked as the Midwest’s 2nd-best regional university.

According to America’s Best Colleges, Tuition Rewards member colleges rank high among the Midwest’s “Best Regional Universities”, including #1 (Creighton University), #2 (Butler University), #4 (Valparaiso University), #6 Bradley University), #7 (John Carroll University), #9 (University of Evansville), #11 (Hamline University), #13 (Elmhurst College) and #14 (Otterbein College).

Member colleges benefit by the ability to market to the 240,000+ participating students (once they reach 9th grade). Member institutions have found the demographics attractive – students from families saving for college and indicating interest in attending a private college.

Drexel University (157 applications) and Duquesne University (84) were the most popular choices of the SAGE’s June 2012 high school graduates, who were offered $19.0 million in Tuition Rewards scholarships, which are given by member colleges as discounts off full tuition. 98 colleges have joined the SAGE Scholars-sponsored consortium in the past 4 ½ years.

“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.

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 to join, and most will gain additional, well-qualified students,” declared Dr. James B. Johnston, a 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.

Other participating Indiana independent colleges are Bethel College, Calumet College of St. Joseph, Franklin College, Grace College, Holy Cross College, Indiana Wesleyan University, Manchester College, Marian College, Oakland City University, Saint Mary’s College, Taylor University, Trine University, University of Evansville and Valparaiso University.

About SAGE Scholars:
Founded in 1995, SAGE Scholars promotes private higher education and its member colleges to the 240,000+ 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.

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Robert Savett
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