How It Works
What are Tuition Rewards® points?
SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards is a unique private college savings program. Tuition Rewards Points are like frequent flyer miles - but for college tuition!
Tuition Rewards are discounts off of tuition at participating private colleges and universities. The Tuition Rewards Points represent the minimum scholarship that an eligible student will receive if and when he or she attends a member school. Schools may count Tuition Rewards as part of their normal institutional aid. For example, if a family redeems 36,000 Tuition Rewards Points for a student, the student is guaranteed to receive at leat $36,000* in financial aid (scholarships or grants), spread equally over four years of undergraduate education. He or she may receive more, but is guaranteed not to receive less.
Earning Tuition Rewards in the Workplace
Tuition Rewards can be earned by employees at over 100,000 employers nationwide! Rewards can be earned by opting for dental coverage or health care coverage through one of our affiliated national insurance providers. Rewards can also be earned based on employer provided retirement plans such as 401k and 403b, or by participating in, or opting in for, select voluntary benefits plans or enrollment events.
Earning Tuition Rewards Points by Saving or Investing
Tuition Rewards can be earned by saving or investing with one or more of our financial affiliates. In most cases , Tuition Rewards accrue at a rate of 5% annually (or 2.5% semi-annually or 1.25% quarterly) based on the value the qualified asset(s) or account(s). With the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program, the normal accrual rate of 5% per year is doubled to 10% per year!. As your assets appreciate, so do your Tuition Rewards Points!
Earning Tuition Rewards Points by Other Means
Not all programs in Tuition Rewards require saving or investing with an affiliated organization! Listed below are some of the other ways families are earning Tuition Rewards right now.
- By purchasing cash-value life insurance through a participating organization
- By maintaining membership in affiliated fraternal organizations
- By working with an affiliated financial professional (individual or organization) who provides asset management, qualified product sales, annual financial reviews, seminars or workshops
- Having a college funding plan created by an affiliated organization or individual
Some affiliated organizations and/or qualified products provide Tuition Rewards to account holders using other methods (such as annual flat-rate increases or one-time application of rewards). See the specific Terms & Conditions of the program you are enrolled in after logging into your account.
Sponsors - the "account holders"
Throughout our website we frequently use the term "Sponsor". A Sponsor is usually the parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle who is the owner of the Tuition Rewards account. Sponsors are required to register on our website to be able to track and utilize the Tuition Rewards Points. Sponsors are responsible for adding students to their Tuition Rewards account, assigning Tuition Rewards Points to students, and submitting Tuition Rewards Points to member colleges and universities.
Using Tuition Rewards Points
Tuition Rewards points are typically earned by the Sponsor and accrue in the Sponsor's Tuition Rewards account. It is up to the Sponsor to assign (transfer) Tuition Rewards points from the Sponsor account to students listed on their account. Tuition Rewards must be assigned to a student by August 31st of the year that the student begins 12th grade. After that date, the student's rewards value can not be changed.
When a Tuition Rewards student applies to a participating school(s), the student's Sponsor must submit the student's Tuition Rewards statement to that school. The statement(s) are submitted from the Sponsor's "My Students" page.
The use of Tuition Rewards is limited to full-time, undergraduate tuition at participating colleges. Tuition Rewards are remitted solely as a reduction to the participating college's full tuition bill -- and NOT awarded in cash. Colleges reserve the right to use the tuition reduction as part of, or separate from, any financial aid packages. Member colleges are not required to accept Tuition Rewards on transfer students.
If a student does not use his/her Tuition Reduction Reward -- for example, if the student selects a non-participating college -- most rewards can be refunded back into the Sponsor's Tuition Rewards account and then transferred to a younger eligible student.
If a student applies, is accepted, or is attending a college that is not participating in this program -- but subsequently decides to participate -- the college is under no obligation to honor his or her Tuition Rewards.
If any college should decide to discontinue participation in this program, it has agreed to honor rewards allocated to a specific student prior to the last day of the college's participation.
The maximum discount from Tuition Rewards that a student can receive is 25% of the cost of tuition at a SAGE member college or university.** The Tuition Reward must be applied evenly over the years of undergraduate education (typically 4-years, but may be 5 if student is in a co-op program). If the student completes undergraduate education in other than four years, it is up to the participating college to determine how the tuition reduction will be applied per year.
For student specific rewards (such as the Pennsylvania 529 College and Career Savings Program), students will not earn Tuition Rewards after age 17, or after August 31st of the year prior to high school graduation - whichever comes first. Some rewards earned directly by a student, such as certain bonus points, are student specific and cannot be transferred to another student.
Students may be sponsored and receive Tuition Rewards Points from multiple sponsors (ex: parents & grandparents,). A sponsor must transfer Tuition Rewards Points to a student prior to August 31st of the year that the student begins 12th grade. A sponsor may provide Tuition Rewards to any child in the sponsor's immediate or extended family. Eligible relations include children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews as well as great/grand relations, step, God and adopted children.
Students can be added to Tuition Rewards at anytime from birth through August 31 of the year that the student begins 12th grade.
Beginning in 10th grade, sponsors can invite students to create a student login so the student can access their own student account. Once a student can sign into their student account, certain bonus points are made available to students for creating a complete student profile.
Communication With Colleges
Participating colleges may send information to high school students and their families enrolled in the SAGE program -- enabling colleges to communicate to members who fit the college's student profile. Under no circumstances are investment details or account balances ever divulged to participating colleges.
No Restriction On How You Pay for College
Specific investments that have been used for the calculation of Tuition Rewards Points need NOT be used for payment of college expenses. For example, you may not want to sell appreciated assets at this time, deferring capital gains tax. With the SAGE Tuition Rewards Program, you choose how you pay for college.
College Admission & Transfers
Our college list keeps growing, giving your child a larger number of schools to choose from. Rewards can only be used at participating colleges. Students do NOT need to pick a particular college now -- that's one beauty of the SAGE program.
Students must apply and be accepted through a participating colleges' normal admissions procedures to qualify for the reward. SAGE membership is not considered in the admissions process.
If students transfer from one participating college to another, the college accepting the student has the right to decide whether it will honor any unused Tuition Rewards.
** Some schools have a limit that may be less than 25% of the cost of tuition. You can view a complete list of member schools, along with the maximum amount each school will accept, from the Participating Schools page after logging in to your account.