St. Bonaventure University Joins Tuition Rewards(R) Enrollment Consortium

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St. Bonaventure University (Olean, NY) has joined Tuition Rewards®, a nationwide enrollment consortium of 300+ private colleges and universities in 45 states. The unique program rewards families for saving for higher education with points that can be used to reduce tuition costs at member colleges and helps colleges recruit qualified students.

St. Bonaventure University (Olean, NY), the nation’s first Franciscan university, has become the 21st New York independent college and 76th Catholic college to join the SAGE Scholars Private College & University Enrollment Consortium.

More than 280,000 students are now enrolled in Tuition Rewards -- and can submit their rewards points, redeemable for guaranteed minimum scholarships, to more than 300 participating independent colleges from Maine to Hawaii.

St. Bonaventure’s residential campus, in beautiful southwestern New York state, is home to 2,000 undergraduate students. In the context of a renowned liberal arts tradition, The University establishes pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers. The University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and programs, including distinguished programs in business, arts and sciences, education and journalism/mass communication. SBU offers dual admission programs in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and physical therapy.

Because faith and learning go hand in hand, service is at the heart of the St. Bonaventure experience. Students get involved in a variety of volunteer experiences, including service trips, social justice issues, big brother/sister programs and peer ministry. The University sponsors the longest-standing student-run soup kitchen in the nation. Other out-of-class experiences include Division I athletics and dozens of intramural teams and academic clubs; a campus activities board plans student events and programs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

A 2012 survey found that 90% of St. Bonaventure graduates said they would choose St. Bonaventure again; and, 95% were employed or in graduate school within 6 months of graduation.

June 2013 high school graduates submitted Tuition Rewards points valued at $27.2 million to the 300+ member colleges. Drexel University (214 submissions) and Duquesne University (108) were the most popular choices. Regional leaders included DePaul University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Dayton, University of San Diego, University of Tampa and Valparaiso University.

Participating colleges in upstate New York include Alfred University, Clarkson University, Elmira College, Hartwick College, Hilbert College, Houghton College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Roberts Wesleyan College, RIT, Russell Sage College, The Sage College of Albany, St. Lawrence University and Wells College.

The SAGE Scholars-sponsored program encourages families to save for college and helps member colleges recruit students. Students enroll in Tuition Rewards through family affiliations with participating financial institutions and employers or through an affiliated scholarship program; students earn rewards points that can be redeemed for guaranteed minimum tuition discounts at participating colleges.

The colleges benefit by the ability to market to the 280,000+ participating students (once they reach 9th grade). Member colleges find the demographics attractive – students from families who are saving for college and who have expressed interest in attending a private college.

“The fact that the number of enrolled students now exceeds 280,000 affirms our belief that parents and grandparents, if they truly understood the unique value of private education, could give their children and grandchildren the most precious of all gifts -- a quality education,” declared Dr. James B. Johnston, SAGE Chairman & CEO. “It is apparent that our value to member colleges increases as we enroll more students in our free, searchable database. We intend to do this by dramatically increasing our marketing outreach, both in the U.S. and abroad.”

39,893 new students joined Tuition Rewards in 2012. Neither students nor colleges pay a fee to join. Financial organizations use Tuition Rewards as a value-added benefit, paying 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 be able to effectively reach out to a wider student audience than an individual college could on its own.

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

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Robert Savett
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