Tuition Management Systems (TMS), one of the nation’s largest providers of outsourced tuition planning, billing, counseling, and payment technology services, is celebrating its 30th year in business. Founded in 1985 by two brothers native to Rhode Island,the company currently partners with approximately 700 colleges, universities, and private K-12 schools nationwide to offer comprehensive education payment services to students and their families.
“For three decades, our mission has been steadfast: to help families afford education,” said Craig Lockwood, Managing Director of TMS. “What has changed is how we go about making education more affordable, and the tools that we use in the process.”
Since its founding, TMS has employed and provided career paths for hundreds of Rhode Islanders. In a typical summer, the company’s workforce grows by as much as 50% to accommodate the increased demand for affordability counseling services leading into the new academic year.
“The need for guidance on how to make informed decisions about affording education has never been greater,” Lockwood said.
For academic year 2014-15, tuition, room, and board at a private four-year institution averages more than $42,000.* Average student loan debt has more than doubled over the last 10 years, and now stands at $26,600 per borrower.** In 2014, undergraduate students borrowed $28.1 billion via Stafford unsubsidized loans, while parent PLUS loan borrowing totaled $10.8 billion, with new loan amounts averaging $13,087 per family.***
According to Lockwood, TMS introduced the industry’s first debt-control tool in 1995, and continues to counsel families on how to minimize borrowing for educational expenses today.
Founded in 1985 as a business focused on flexible tuition payment plans, TMS has evolved to a product and service offering that encompasses the entire education payment process. As an outsourced partner, TMS provides its more than 700 member schools with billing services, payment portals, payment plans, refunding and disbursement management, payment acceptance, and 1098-T processing.