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Information for Financial Institutions

Your participation in the SAGE Tuition Rewards Program will allow your clients and account holders to receive Tuition Rewards Points - similar to frequent flyer miles - which provide a guaranteed minimum discount off of the "list price" of tuition at over 375 private colleges and universities across the United States, for undergraduate study, starting with the freshman year. Tuition Rewards Points can cover the cost of up to one full year's tuition (spread evenly over 4 years)!

SAGE's Tuition Rewards program is a college savings and investment plan like no other. We've expanded our program so that families can now earn Tuition Rewards on 529 saving plans, CDs, mutual funds, 401(k)s, IRAs, supplemental retirement accounts, annuities, insurance products (with cash value), reverse mortgages, brokerage accounts, certain income-replacement health insurance products, and even home equity lines of credit.

"The program helps differentiate Harleysville Savings Bank in an industry with commoditized products, and it gives customers reason to stay with the bank."
Ron Geib, President
Harleysville Savings Bank (PA)
American Banker

Tuition Rewards will help you attract new clients -- and help retain existing customers. By being part of SAGE, you'll be able to offer clients an instant Tuition Rewards Bonus when they open their accounts; plus, you are able to give your clients annual Tuition Rewards Points on their qualified assets. These guaranteed scholarships will help to differentiate you from your competition and leverage your products and services.

Tuition Rewards Points accrue like frequent flyer miles. Each Tuition Reward Point is equal to $1.00 in discounts and represents the minimum scholarship that a sponsored student will receive if he or she attends a participating college. For example, if a client saves or invests $50,000 (no minimum required) with your organization, he or she will typically receive 2,500 Tuition Rewards Points ($50,000 x 5% = 2,500) annually; if $100,000 is invested, this will generate 5,000 Tuition Rewards Points annually. The sooner your clients enroll the more Tuition Rewards they can earn.

Recently, thanks to participation in Tuition Rewards, one of our students who would have received no other financial aid received a scholarship in excess of $40,000 (spread over four years) because of our program - quite a savings in after-tax dollars!

Our current financial partners have found that participating in Tuition Rewards provides the following advantages:

  • Differentiate you from the competition. Be unique in a commodity-product world.
  • Reward & retain your best customers. One of our bank partners found that Tuition Rewards attracted account-holders with triple the typical assets at the bank.
  • Attract more dollars from existing clients (because the greater the investment, the greater the Tuition Reward points). A recent survey showed that an overwhelming number of SAGE account holders would increase deposits and investments to earn more Tuition Rewards. At participating 529 Plans, investors who "opt in" to Tuition Rewards have 26%-to-42% higher account balances.
  • Help parents save for college. The Tuition Rewards Program helps direct the conversation to "big goals".
  • Help grandparents wishing to leave a legacy to grandchildren.
  • Attract prospects to seminars. Partners can offer a Tuition Reward bonus for attending an event, as a reward for a referral, or to make an appointment for a financial review.
  • Help open doors for presentations to schools, associations, employers and others.
  • Allow representatives or agents to be a trusted advisor, able to offer unique articles on college admissions and funding, written by experts, which make the college selection process more successful - and less stressful.
  • No Investment Liability - Tuition Rewards are not SEC investments. They are scholarships (discounts off full tuition) given by participating colleges. The program has passed compliance scrutiny from 2 state treasury departments, insurance companies, banks, mutual fund companies, etc.
  • Minimal Work for Partners - SAGE is a paperless process. Other than creating and distributing marketing materials & transmitting information (with your clients' approval), SAGE does all the work. Tracking, maintaining, reporting to colleges, answering participants' questions - those are our responsibilities.
  • Specific assets used for Tuition Reward calculations do not have to be used to pay for college (except for assets in a 529 Plan).

How Are Points Awarded?

Bonus Points - Typically, new account-holders and new students earn points upon completion of enrollment and account activation. "Bonus Points" are typically available for referrals or for seminar attendance.

Annual Points - For our varied financial partners, we've evolved three "systems" of awarding points:

  1. Most Financial Partners (529 plans, annuities, banks, credit unions, retirement plans): We typically award annual points based on 5% of the asset value (or 2.5% twice per year, 1.25% quarterly). Ex: $20,000 balance, 1,000 annual points.
  2. Insurance Partners (universal life, whole life): When policies build up cash value sufficient to fund college tuition, we award an initial, negotiated amount of points to induce enrollment, with annual points thereafter. (Note: State Departments of Insurance have found Tuition Rewards do not represent a rebate or an inducement. Rewards are provided by participating colleges, not the insurance carrier or the financial professional. Participating advisors are urged to make Rewards available to all clients - past sales as well as new sales.)
  3. Independent Advisors: For individual financial planners selling only to consumers, "birthday points" are annually awarded directly to enrolled students; with multiple children in our program, the family points become very significant. This option is low maintenance; no data is transmitted, and set-up is minimal. New advisors can join and be up & running in 48 hours.

The Tuition Rewards Program is available to financial institutions of all sizes. If you would like more information on how the Tuition Rewards program can work with your business, please fill out the information request form below and we will contact you shortly, or call us at 1-888-222-0550 during normal business hours (eastern time).

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