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Information for Employers and Employee Benefit Providers

Attract talent. Retain talent. Motivate talent. These are the goals that the SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards Program assists.

SAGE's Tuition Rewards program is a college savings and investment plan like no other. Employees of companies who partner with SAGE can earn guaranteed college scholarships for use at over 320 private colleges and universities across the United States, for their children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, based on their 401(k), 403(b), profit-sharing or other company sponsored retirement savings plan.

What could be better than helping to make the ever-escalating cost of college more affordable for your employees? Tuition Rewards should help give your company an edge in workplace satisfaction - and in attracting and retaining talent.

Tuition Rewards accrue like frequent flyer miles and are based on eligible assets. Each Tuition Reward point is equal to $1 in scholarships at a SAGE member school and represents the minimum scholarship that a sponsored student will receive if he or she attends a participating college.

Employers typically do NOT need to change management of retirement plan assets to participate in Tuition Rewards. There are two ways that employers can participate:

  1. Voluntary Benefits – Tuition Rewards is free to employers who allow the enrollment staffs of our partner companies (The College Tuition Benefit, Horizon Benefits, Texas Benefits) to meet with your employees. This enables assets in the 401(k) and other retirement plans to be eligible to earn Reward Points. (If you are with a financial services firm that sells voluntary benefits, our partners are seeking to expand their distribution network.)
  2. Direct Relationship with SAGE Scholars – We make our program available to employers for a very reasonable annual fee per employee. Two options:
    1. Reward Points Based on Asset Values – Employers often prefer that Reward Points be awarded annually at a rate of 5% of retirement plan asset values. SAGE Scholars does not manage retirement plans; we care only about the value of the employee retirement assets, not who is managing the plan. For example, if an employee has $20,000 in his or her 401(k) plan on Dec. 31, he or she receives 1,000 Tuition Rewards Points that will be added to his/her account. Here's a chart that illustrates how Reward Points can add up:

        401(k) Value Tuition Rewards
      Year 1 $50,000 2,500 points
      Year 2 $60,000 3,000 points
      Year 3 $67,000 3,350 points
      Year 4 $75,000 3,750 points
        Total Tuition Rewards : 12,600 Points

      In the above example, after only four years, the employee would accrue 12,600 Tuition Reward Points – equivalent to a $12,600 scholarship at any of our member colleges and universities. There is no limit on the amount of points that an employee can earn.

    2. All Employees Earn the Same Amount of Reward Points – Other employers prefer to reward employees equally. For example, all students registered by employees (or by all retirement plan participants) can earn 1,000 Points per year. An advantage to this method is ease of management; there is no longer any need to transmit retirement plan asset values.

Many employees fear that their children will not qualify for any traditional financial aid, which is need-based. Tuition Rewards, as non-need scholarships, do not depend on a determination of family income and assets.

Other Advantages :

  • No Employer Investment Liability - Tuition Rewards are not SEC investments. They are scholarships - discounts off full tuition - given by participating colleges. The program has passed legal scrutiny from 2 state treasury departments, insurance companies, banks, mutual fund companies, etc.
  • Cost-Effective Employee Benefit - Participating firms pay only a relatively small administrative fee, not the cost of the scholarships. Colleges simply agree to accept less than full tuition.
  • Minimal Work for Employers - SAGE is a paperless process. Other than creating and distributing marketing materials & transmitting information (with your employees' approval), SAGE does all the work. Tracking, maintaining, reporting to colleges, answering participants' questions - those are our responsibilities.

If you would like more information on how the Tuition Rewards program can work with your business, please use the contact form below, and a representative will contact you shortly.

Contact Us For More Information

Contact Us For More Information