Southwestern Advantage


Since 1868, the Southwestern Advantage sales and leadership program/internship has served as a means for college and university students to gain skills, build character, and offset their educational expenses by running their own business selling educational products to families. In 2021, student participants were enrolled at nearly 200 colleges and universities.

We disclose the challenges and expectations of our program to each and every participant, including their parents (who endorse them into the program), before their formal training begins. Participants attend training both prior to starting their business and through the duration of the summer that covers such topics as business management, product knowledge, ethics, safety, managing finances, communication principles, and what to expect as they build their business. A sample of the expectations covered can be found at

The information in regard to income claims, lifestyle claims, success stories, and testimonials for which Southwestern Advantage or an independent third party has presented publicly are true for the individuals featured. However, they may not be typical. Each independent student dealer who participates may have different results depending on their level of sales success, which in turn, depends upon their level of commitment and effort.

The typical amount of income that can be generally be expected by an independent student dealer selling products produced by Southwestern Advantage:

Average gross income for 2020 by year of participation was as follows:

First year participant: $11,982.78

Second year participant: $23,056.55

Third year participant: $30,593.76

Fourth year participant: $38,529.78

Fifth year or more participant: $72,184.37

5 year cumulative incomes as of 2020:

Average cumulative 5-year income: $140,654.58

Median cumulative 5-year income: $135,266.81

5 year cumulative low: $40,233.00

5 year cumulative high: $381,613.68

Comparison chart of Average & Median Total Gross Income for Independent Student Dealers: 


Average of Total Income

Median Total Income

First Year

$                    11,982.79

 $                 11,387.36

Second Year

$                    23,056.56

 $                 21,538.27

Third Year

$                    30,593.77

 $                 29,018.13

Fourth Year

$                    38,529.78

 $                 38,134.47

Fifth Year +

$                    72,184.37

 $                 63,055.66

The information above contains the average gross income for US students and includes personal sales profit, dealer discount income, residual income, and prizes. The averages are of first year participants who reported working per the company’s trained and suggested 72 day schedule; 76 days for second-year participants; 77 days for third and fourth-year participants; and 80 days for fifth-year or more participants.

The personal sales profit is from the products students sell to retail consumers they generate themselves while running their business. Dealer discount income is received from the company by qualified dealers for team production. Residual income is from paid-for online subscriptions participants’ customers purchase. Income from prizes won is from achieving various levels in sales or team-building contests. Consumers are invited to share their experience and name the participant on selected third party review sites, as we offer incentives to participants whose consumers identify them on selected review sites.

The amounts seen above are calculated in gross income generated because each independent student dealer has both fixed and variable expenses. Some fixed expenses may include rent for host family ($20-30/week), gas, and food. Each of these expenses vary from student to student, as the expenses depend on their individual situation and personal consumption. Some students have a host family that does not charge rent and some students may use some of the profit from their business for personal expenses not related to running their business – which is their right to do so.

It’s important to note that student’s run their own business during their summer break between semesters or quarters. During the typical 12 weeks they operate their business, most students choose to do so six days a week. This means they are putting in many hours towards the success of their business in order to maximize the return during the fixed time they have available. As such, the profit the students make from their personal sales is with a concentrated and focused energy towards their business within this timeframe can and does result in the income numbers seen above.

Any lifestyle claims from independent student dealers such as travel, incentive trips and meetings, items purchased with income generated by the profit from the student’s business, or any other types of claims are specific to that individual and may not be representative of other student dealers.

Southwestern Advantage is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a charter member since 1961, and maintains an A+ rating. The company is also a recent winner of the BBB’s Torch Award for Ethical Commerce. Southwestern Advantage is also a member of the Direct Selling Association, based in Washington, DC, and abides by a strict Code of Ethics

Southwestern Advantage and are part of Southwestern Family of Companies. Established in Nashville, Tennessee in 1855, Southwestern Family of Companies is a diversified, growing, international, and employee-owned company built on a foundation of principles and purpose. Comprised of companies with a shared mission of building people and helping others, Southwestern Family of Companies provides a large range of products and services, including educational books and websites, real estate services, travel services, financial advising, consulting services, insurance (casualty & property, final expense), sales and leadership coaching and more.

Southwestern Family of Companies has expanded beyond Southwestern Advantage to include member companies across a range of industries and continues to grow each year. For more information, visit

Southwestern Advantage 2021