At public (state) institutions, financial aid is still primarily based on a determination of “need” that is derived from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Exceptions include athletic scholarships, small honors programs and, sometimes, the “best” out-of-state students are offered the in-state rate. Many private colleges and universities now offer “merit aid” that a Philadelphia-based firm has turned this into a business venture – a unique client rewards program that financial advisors can now use through exclusive insurance marketing organizations.
SAGE Scholars, Inc. was founded in 1995 by the former Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at The Wharton Graduate Division of the University of Pennsylvania. The Tuition Rewards® private college & university enrollment marketing consortium, is a growing enterprise that has expanded to over 295 member colleges (as of 7-11-12) in 45 states, from Maine to Hawaii.
Families are loving the program. Agents can showing parents how to use Life Insurance/Annuities and SAGE to help pay for a child’s college education -- as well as providing a tax free death benefit just in case. The best part is the client doesn’t pay anything for the SAGE Scholarship, and the agent doesn’t give up any commissions. This is simply a win, win!
The diverse Tuition Rewards college consortium includes some of the nation’s top engineering and science schools: Clarkson, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical, Florida Institute of Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Arts leaders include Pratt Institute and Savannah College of Art & Design. Some national universities known for NCAA Division 1 sports participate: DePaul, Drexel, Duquesne, University of Dayton, University of San Diego.
There have been families in the program who have saved as much as $40,000 on tuition bills. Further, savings under the Tuition Rewards program are income tax free, so the real economic benefit of the program is much greater. Financial aid calculations take into account a family’s assets. Currently, colleges are not asking for insurance policy cash values when determining financial aid. So, money moved to a permanent life policy from a mutual fund, for example, can result in an increase in financial aid eligibility.
Among SAGE’s financial partners are the 529 Plans of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin; a 100-branch bank, First Midwest Bank; Wells Fargo, and a 200,000-member credit union, SEFCU of Albany, NY. Insurance & Annuity agents can participate as a way to get in front of audiences, to differentiate themselves, and to focus the conversation on college savings & planning – a relatively “new market” for the insurance industry.
For insurance marketers, Tuition Rewards is a proven lead generation program. Unlike traditional lead generation tools like mortgage protection leads and final expense leads, very few agents and agencies are working in the college planning market and promoting the Tuition Rewards program. Smart advisors can use the SAGE Program to help families afford a better education – and create their own lead generating machine using this program.
Advisors can promise prospective clients or seminar attendees a 500-point bonus ($500 value) just for listening – no purchase necessary. Meeting face-to-face with an advisor can lead to another 500-point bonus – no purchase necessary. Prospects and clients receive 500 more points for activating their account online (at www.tuitionrewards.com) – and 500 more for each student enrolled. Another 500 points can also be received if the client refers a friend or neighbor, so the Scholarship account can add up very quickly! Remember 1 point equals $1 tuition dollar. If the prospect purchases a qualifying life policy, he/she can receive 4,000 points in the first-year of the policy and 2,000 every year as long as the policy is in force and also as long as the client logs into his/her account at least once annually). The reward is ultimately given by the college – not by the insurance carrier, the agency, the agent or by SAGE Scholars.
Many P&C and health agents who are now cross selling with the SAGE program and have become life professionals using this program. Agencies can use this program to recruit new agents and create new lead generation programs. This gives agents a complete turnkey platform to help clients with life insurance, annuities as well as an exclusive college savings plan. Email blasts/campaigns, brochures, presentations and customized agent websites are available at no additional charge. (all appointed agents w/Levinson & Associates)
We strongly encourage agents and advisors to sign up all of their current clients. It’s good business for advisors to stay in touch with their clients and reward them. Advisors can reward clients with 500-point bonuses for annual review meetings – and for a referral. People are sometimes suspicious to hear that a group of colleges will give away scholarships – ‘lots of money’. But, it IS credible when an advisor says that some colleges might choose to give discounts to attract more and or better students. The term ‘tuition discounts’ is a proven conversation-starter.
The Tuition Rewards program encourages referrals. After a sale to parents of young children, an advisor can ask about grandparents, aunts and uncles who could also earn points -- and direct them to the same beneficiaries. Grandparents can become involved in the program and guarantee that their grandchildren have the funds needed to go to college, whether or not the grandparent lives to see it.
With over 20 Life & Annuity products to choose from, we have a product that fits just about every situation. Some great door openers that agents are using today, are our children’s Whole Life policy “guaranteed 15k death benefit for $60 per year” and our “10yr fixed annuity for $100 per month entry + a 5% premium bonus” all offered by A rated carriers!
For more information on the college savings marketing program, contact Bill Levinson @ Levinson & Associates. 800-375-2279 www.yourfreecollegescholarship.com?