By Guest writer Todd Fothergill

The SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards program is a college saving plan like no other. By enrolling in Tuition Rewards, students will earn guaranteed minimum scholarships at over 290 participating private colleges and universities across America. The scholarships can equal up to one full year’s tuition!

Tuition Reward Points accrue like frequent flyer miles and are earned by saving and investing with SAGE’s Financial Affiliates, which include 529 plans, banks, brokerage firms, credit unions, employers, financial service companies involved in cash-value insurance products, retirement plans, reverse mortgages and other instruments and with fee based college advisory firms who can award points in other ways. What makes Tuition Rewards even more unique is that you do not have to use the investment vehicle that is earning Reward Points to pay for college! How you pay for college is your choice.

Tuition Reward Points typically accrue annually at a rate of 5% (or 2.5% bi-annually or 1.25% quarterly) on the value of eligible assets. For example, if you’ve invested $10,000 with one of SAGE’s Financial Affiliates, you will receive 500 Tuition Reward Points annually (assuming no change in asset value); if you invest $20,000, you will earn 1,000 Tuition Reward Points annually. The more you save, and the longer you’re associated with SAGE’s financial affiliates, the more Tuition Reward Points you’ll earn.

Each Tuition Reward Point is equal to $1.00 in tuition discounts if the student attends a participating college or university. The accumulated points represent the minimum scholarship (grant or discount – non-loan based financial aid) that the student will receive. Yes, 20,000 Tuition Reward Points represent a guaranteed minimum $20,000 scholarship at any of the SAGE member schools.

Students may be sponsored and receive Tuition Reward Points from multiple sponsors (ex: parents & grandparents,). A sponsor designates the Tuition Reward Points to students before August 31st between the student’s junior and senior years in high school. A sponsor may provide Tuition Rewards to children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Students are eligible to be added to the SAGE Tuition Rewards Program from birth until the beginning of their junior year in high school (August 31st between the sophomore and junior years in high school is the cut-off date).

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 Reward 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

The SAGE 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.

If your child is a SAGE member but does not attend a participating college, you may have to pay “list price” for a college education. Being part of the SAGE unique college savings program will put you closer to meeting your financial goals. In all ways, SAGE will help you save for college!

For additional information on how you can participate in the SAGE Scholars Tuition Rewards program, please email Todd Fothergill (tfothergill@strategiesforcollege.com) or visit strategiesforcollege.net/sage. Todd is a SAGE authorized affiliate who can help you learn more about the program and how to enroll.

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