TMS Announcements

Take a look at what TMS is doing in the community and in the education payment industry.

TMS Acquire AES Account Base

TMS is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Advanced Educational Services client base of schools.  Both AES and TMS align well in their histories of providing high quality service and the flexibility to meet the individual needs of each school served.  Transitions will begin in early 2018 positioning TMS to fully service these accounts for the upcoming academic school year.

“While I have enjoyed serving higher education schools and families the time has come for me and my team to focus on our next set of goals.  We exit the education industry with great confidence and relief that our valued customers will continue to be valued and treated with the same amount of care as the AES team has conveyed since our start in 1991.  ~Jim Henderson, President AES

“TMS shares a mutual respect for AES an established payment plan provider and we are both honored and excited to welcome all of the AES client schools to our client family of over 600 education institutions nationwide.  We look forward to a collaborative partnership helping to achieve the goals for success for both the staff and families of all the AES schools. ~Carl J. Firlings, Jr., SVP Business Development.

About Advanced Education Service

Advanced Education Services, located in Harrisburg, PA has enjoyed a history of providing innovative tuition payment systems and superior service to the higher education community and K-12 private schools for over 25 years.  We take great pride in having brought new solutions to the business office operations of our school partners while focusing on meeting the unique needs of each school.  Our goal has always been to forge long lasting and mutually rewarding relationships with each and every one of our valued clients.  


Tuition Management Systems Becomes an Ellucian Alliance Partner to Offer Enhanced Integrated Software and Service Solutions for Schools

Tuition Management Systems (TMS), a leading provider of payment acceptance solutions for education institutions, announces that it has become an alliance partner of Ellucian, the leading provider of software and services for higher education.

Alliance Partners deliver software applications, hardware, and services that can extend, enhance, and integrate with Ellucian’s core solutions. Additional benefits from Alliance Partners to schools include:

  • Support the principles of extensibility, flexibility, collaboration, and common components
  • Deliver a broad portfolio of technology solutions and provide strategic guidance
  • Provide new capabilities designed to serve the needs of our customers’ diverse constituencies
  • Complement core Ellucian solution capabilities
  • Expand access to current and innovative technology solutions
TMS current and future client schools will continue to benefit through streamlined administrative functions and increased office efficiencies, while families benefit through the convenience of integrated payment, transactional management, safety, and engagement solutions. This partnership allows TMS to strengthen and certify our existing integration through Ellucian’s integration enablement tools.

First Marblehead Rebrands as Cognition Financial and Announces Relocation of Corporate Headquarters

The First Marblehead Corporation today announced that it has changed its name to Cognition Financial Corporation. First Marblehead, which was founded in 1991 to help lenders and schools create more innovative and affordable education loan products became a private company in August, 2016 after having spent 13 years as a publicly traded firm on the New York Stock Exchange.

"In our third decade of business, the business model of the company has changed dramatically. We’re no longer just a student loan company,” said Daniel Meyers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Tuition Management Systems (TMS), our payments subsidiary, has transacted more than $50 billion in education payments for private K-12 schools, colleges and universities. We intend to keep innovating and growing our lending and payments businesses. Adopting our new corporate name, Cognition Financial, is in the spirit of that push towards the future.”

The company also announced its move back into Boston. Cognition Financial’s new headquarters are located at 200 Clarendon Street. Tuition Management Systems continues to operate out of its Warwick, Rhode Island office under its current name.


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About Cognition Financial

Cognition Financial helps students finance their education through products and services offered directly to students and with national and regional financial institution partners. For more information, please see Cognition Financial supports responsible lending and is a strong proponent of the smart borrowing principles, which encourage students to access scholarships, grants and federally-guaranteed loans before considering private education loans; please see Cognition Financial also offers outsourced tuition planning, billing, payment technology services and refund management services to educational institutions through its subsidiary Tuition Management Systems LLC. For more information, please see


Making Card Payments for Education: Students and Families now have a choice when it comes to service fees

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In TMS’s eWallet, students view the service fee associated with each of their saved cards.

The fee is based on each card’s actual cost of acceptance. By selecting their payment method, students and families can choose the fee they pay.


Tuition Management Systems (“TMS”), a leading provider of educationpayment services for Higher Education and private K–12 schools, and CardX, a technology provider of world-first card acceptance solutions, today launched an integrated solution that raises the standard for tuition and tuition-related payment acceptance.

 81% of universities use a “service fee” to cover the cost of card acceptance when students pay with credit and debit cards. [1] Until now, service fees have typically been assessed as a single, flat-percentage rate (such as 2.99%), regardless of what card is chosen. However, different card types have different costs, and a flat-rate service fee forces a consumer with a low-cost card to subsidize a consumer with a more costly rewards card.

To improve on the service fee model, Intelligent Rate prices the service fee in proportion to the actual cost to accept the card that the student chooses. As a result, students with low-cost cards pay a lower fee. Students can reduce the fee amount in real time by choosing a lower-cost form of payment, such as a debit card or a no-frills credit card.

Intelligent Rate is being offered as a turn-key solution to applicable TMS member schools, and it is fully integrated within TMS’s secure, PCI-compliant Payment Portal and Student Account Center.

Craig Lockwood, President at TMS, observed, “Intelligent Rate is a smarter approach to service fees. Most cardholders pay less with Intelligent Rate, and all cardholders are informed of lower-cost alternatives. It’s consistent with our mission of helping students and their families make better payment decisions through education and transparency. And it’s a true win-win for schools and families alike.”

Jonathan Razi, CardX President, remarked, “When we founded CardX, one of our ground-level goals was to improve on Higher Education's limited set of choices in card acceptance. With that goal in mind, we’re very proud to launch our solution to the education marketplace with TMS. We couldn’t ask for better partners than the TMS team, who share our vision for student choice, convenience, and affordability.”

 In April, TMS and CardX co-presented alongside MasterCard to more than 200 schools at the 30th National College & University Bursars SFS Conference. TMS and CardX laid out their vision for improving the service fee in a session entitled "Service Fees for Card Payments: Aligning Institutional and Student Interests.” Today’s launch achieves that vision.


[1] Data from a survey of 300 schools by (2014).



About TMS


Tuition Management Systems (TMS) developed around a foundational goal: helping students and families afford education, and helping schools prosper. We do this through our products, developed based on feedback from approximately 700 partner schools, best practices, and continually developing standards. From billing, to payment plans, payment portals, merchant services, refund and disbursement management, 1098-T processing, and proven affordability solutions, TMS will deliver any or all parts of a tailored education payment process to your institution.


About CardX


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CardX provides zero-cost card acceptance solutions to institutions and businesses. CardX reduces transaction costs by creating incentives for consumers to make lower-cost payment choices. Founded in 2013, CardX operates out of corporate headquarters located in Chicago, IL. For more information, please visit




Tuition Management Systems (TMS) proudly becomes a corporate sponsor for Year Up

Partnering with the Year Up organization Providence location allows TMS to extend the reach of our mission of helping students afford education in our local community.  This partnership allows our company to be part of a nontraditional education initiative that is helping 18-24 year old, underprivileged youths turn their talents into a marketable skill for employers.

What is Year Up?  Year Up is a one-year, intensive training program that provides low-income, urban young adults, with a unique combination of technical and professional skills, college credits and hands-on experience through a corporate internship.

1 Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.

We achieve this mission through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships and college credits. Our holistic approach focuses on students’ professional and personal development to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency.


TMS will be embarking in two corporate partnership initiatives to contribute to this organization’s growing success.


Several of our TMS team members will become mentors, working with a Year Up student that is determined to be a good match.  Our mentors will meet with their mentee once a month and communicate monthly to help and support them through the year long Year Up program which consists of academics, professional development, technical skills and more.  Mentors traditionally assist with resume writing, interview skills, problem solving skills and general guidance to prepare them for their future internship that hopefully become long term employment opportunities.


As part of the Year Up program students will participate in a 26 week paid internship program after completing their academic requirements and are placed for internship employment with the corporate sponsors.  We look forward to welcoming a Year Up internship into one or more of our customer support, analyst, administrative positions.

Year Up is a national organization, we encourage all who are looking for young talent to inquire to see of your organization would be the right fit to help a Year Up organization in your community.

TMS partners with GradGuard™ to provide integrated tuition refund insurance benefits to students and their families.

Tuition Management Systems (TMS) and GradGuard™, a service of Next Generation Insurance Group (NGI) announce a partnership to provide integrated tuition refund benefit programs to colleges and universities in the U.S.  Working closely with client schools, TMS’s Student Account Center (SAC) will deliver school policy disclosures (including Tuition Refund Policies) in a clear, proactive, transparent, and verifiable fashion.  TheGradGuardTMstudent benefit program will be made available at participating institutions giving students and families an opportunity to protect themselves from a financial loss resulting from unexpected medical withdrawals.

SAC provides client schools with a platform to communicate relevant student account information in either a proactive or passive manner.  SAC is fully integrated with TMS’s broad suite of payment solutions as well as all major Student Information System (SIS) packages including Ellucian, PeopleSoft, Jenzabar, and Blackbaud.  NGI’s GradGuardTMstudent benefit program includes GradGuard™ Tuition Refund Insurance, underwritten by Markel Insurance Company, which reimburses up to 100% of tuition and related educational expenses up to the policy limits if a student is unable to complete classes due to a covered medical event such as an accident, injury, illness, or mental health issue.  In most states, the suite of benefits include an additional set of security and well-being benefits including Accidental Death benefits, cell phone protection, identity theft protection, and roadside assistance.

“TMS is extremely pleased to partner with NGI and GradGuard™, an organization whose mission of helping families along their educational journey in partnership with client schools aligns extremely well with the mission of TMS.  Education is the second largest investment many of us will ever make in our lifetime.  We think helping institutions clearly communicate the relevant terms of that investment while offering students and families the opportunity to protect that investment is a win-win,” says Craig Lockwood, President of TMS.

John Fees, founder of GradGuard™, said “this is an exciting opportunity to help schools implement programs that help promote student success and college completion. The integration with the TMS Student Account Center fulfills our mission to help students and their families protect their investment in Higher Education. TMS provides schools the opportunity to easily disclose their refund policies while providing a convenient way to enroll in GradGuard’s valuable tuition refund insurance program.  Together TMS and GradGuard will enable schools to become fully transparent while also helping to protect their students from financial losses that may result from an unexpected medical withdrawal.”

TMS_Logo.jpgFor over thirty years, Tuition Management Systems (TMS) has developed around a foundational goal: helping students and families afford education, and helping schools prosper.

Our experience, derived from approximately 700 partner schools across the nation, consists of developing individualized solutions based on partner feedback, industry best practices, and continually developing standards.

Our solutions are purpose-built for the unique constituency of Higher Education. You will not find a partner more dedicated to the success of your institution. From billing, to payment plans, payment portals, merchant services, refund and disbursement management, and 1098-T processing, coupled with proven affordability solutions, TMS will deliver any or all parts of a tailored education payment process to your institution.

gradguard_final.jpgGradGuard™, a service of Next Generation Insurance Group LLC, is the nation's first comprehensive insurance and benefits solution specifically designed for the collegiate market.  GradGuard’s mission is to help students and their families protect their investment in higher education and enable students to overcome unexpected financial losses that might otherwise disrupt their education.GradGuard’s innovative tuition and renter’s insurance programs are available to all twenty-three million college students. 

This is not a consumer solicitation. For Next Generation Insurance Group licensing information, please visit Tuition Refund Insurance is underwritten by Markel American Insurance Company, Waukesha, WI.  Claims and coverage subject to policy language, limits and exclusions.