Q. What is the CollegeAdvantage Refer a Friend Program and how does it work?
A. The CollegeAdvantage Refer a Friend program was established to help existing CollegeAdvantage direct Account Owners build their accounts by earning a $50 referral bonus when their friends and family open a CollegeAdvantage direct account through the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority. To encourage your friends and family to get started, they will earn a $25 referral bonus just for opening an account. Friends and family must establish an account before June 30, 2010 in order to be eligible to receive the referral bonus.
Here's how it works
Your CollegeAdvantage direct account number will be used as a referral code and will be provided to your family and friends with your permission. By participating in the program you are granting permission for the use of your account number as the referral code. If you have more than one account, you will need to decide which account you want to use for the referral program. You can designate a different account for each person you refer; however, you cannot divide the $50 referral bonus over multiple accounts.
There are two ways to refer friends and family
Online: Log in to your account in the “My Account” section.
(You’ll need to create a user name and password if you have not already done so. Simply click on the “Get a User ID” button on the home page and follow the instructions.) Once you are logged in, click on the “Refer a Friend–Earn $50” link on the left hand side of the page. You can choose to have program information mailed to the people you refer, or have an informational email sent to them. Simply enter the person’s name, address, number of children and/or their email address. You will also be asked to select which of your accounts you want the referral bonus applied to.
By mail: You can also complete and return a Refer a Friend form which mailed to all CollegeAdvantage direct Account Owners. You can download a PDF of the form here, or simply send a letter of instruction to CollegeAdvantage listing your friends and family who might be interested in opening a CollegeAdvantage account. The following information is required: name, address and number of children in the family. Please include the CollegeAdvantage account number that you want your referral bonus applied to.
Mail this information to:
Ohio Tuition Trust Authority Refer a Friend Program
580 S. High St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43215
You can also email your list to: email@example.com.
Your friends will receive enrollment materials and a brief letter explaining how to take advantage of the referral program. They can either enroll using a paper application or enroll online. Either way they enroll, they will be asked to provide a referral code on the application, which will be the account number you provided.
Once their new CollegeAdvantage account is opened in good order, meaning all required account information has been provided and an initial contribution of at least $25 has been made and cleared, a $25 referral bonus will be posted to their new CollegeAdvantage account, and $25 will be posted to your designated CollegeAdvantage account. This usually takes 7 to 10 business days.
Q. Is there a limit to how many referral bonuses I can receive?
A. No. An individual (Account Owner) can earn an unlimited number
of referral bonuses. The Tuition Trust will send the Account Owner a 1099 tax form
for bonuses totaling $600 or more.
Q. How will I know if one of my friends opened an account?
A. When someone you referred opens a CollegeAdvantage account, you both will receive a confirmation letter in the mail when the referral bonus is deposited to your respective accounts, usually within 7-10 business days following the opening of the new account.
Q. How will the referral bonus be invested?
A. For Account Owners who referred the new account, the $50 referral bonus will be invested in the CollegeAdvantage investment option with the largest balance, excluding the Guaranteed Savings Fund and Fifth Third 529 Certificates of Deposit (CDs). If the account only has the Guaranteed Savings Fund option, the referral bonus will be invested in the Vanguard Money Market Option. If the account only has Fifth Third CDs, the referral bonus will be invested in the Fifth Third 529 Savings Account option.
For new accounts that were referred, the $25 referral bonus will be applied to the investment option with the largest balance, or to the first option entered on the application (excluding Fifth Third CDs). If a Fifth Third CD was the only option selected, the referral bonus will be invested in the Fifth Third 529 Savings Account option. The referral bonus cannot be used to fund the initial contribution to the new account.
Q. When does the referral program end?
A. The referral program is being offered only for a limited time and is scheduled to end on June 30, 2010. The Ohio Tuition Trust Authority reserves the right to end the program at any time, however, for any reason, including availability of funds for the program.
To qualify for the referral bonus, new accounts must be established by June 30,
in order for both the referring Account Owner and new Account Owner to be eligible for the bonus.
The new account must be opened in good order. To qualify as an account opened in good order, all required account information must be provided, an initial contribution of $25 made and the initial contribution must have cleared. Once the new account has been properly established, a referral bonus will be posted to both respective CollegeAdvantage accounts.
Q. I opened my account through a financial advisor. Can I participate in the Refer a Friend Program?
A. No. The CollegeAdvantage Refer a Friend Program is available to new and existing Account Owners with a direct CollegeAdvantage account. This means you opened your account directly through the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority. Account Owners with an advisor CollegeAdvantage account are not eligible for the referral program.
Q. Can I withdraw the referral bonus right away?
A. Funds invested in CollegeAdvantage are available for withdrawal five business days after they are initially deposited. The referral bonus is also available for withdrawal five business days after it is deposited to the account.
Q. I currently have two CollegeAdvantage accounts, but have not yet opened an account for my third child. Can I receive a referral bonus for opening a new account for my own child?
A. Yes, you would receive a $50 referral bonus for one of your existing accounts (whichever one you used as the referral code) and a $25 referral bonus for the new account. Simply complete the referral bonus section on either the online or paper application when you open the new account.
Q. What if I give out an incorrect account number as the referral code for my friends and family (i.e., missing a digit, numbers transposed, etc.)? Or what if the person I give it to submits it incorrectly on the application?
A. Please check for accuracy! We validate all referral codes provided against our database when the application is submitted. If an incorrect referral code (account number) is submitted, unfortunately it will be rejected by our system and the referral bonus will not be awarded to either party.
Q. Can I refer people who do not live in Ohio?
A. Yes. Ohio’s CollegeAdvantage plan is open to families across the country – not just Ohio. However, the referral must be for the CollegeAdvantage direct program.