Southwestern Advantage

Product FAQs

The online component of the Southwestern Advantage Learning System is a web-subscription comprising of six educational websites and apps. This is a monthly recurring fee. Charges for the online subscription begin only when a customer creates their online account, agrees to the terms of service, enters their billing information, and clicks through the email verification. There is NO trial period for the websites, however it can be cancelled by the customer at any time, as it is not included in the Federal three-day cooling off cancellation period since it is an on-going subscription. Just like any other subscription platform (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.), the subscription stops when the customer cancels it.

All products sold in Canada are in Canadian dollars. Credit card companies convert payments into US dollars because Southwestern Advantage is a US-based company. The amount appearing on a statement is converted back into Canadian. Small discrepancies are typically due to changing conversion rates. 

None. The student represents themselves and the products we publish that they sell, which are supplemental educational resources meant for use outside of the classroom. Neither they, nor our products, are affiliated with your local school system. Given the opportunity by the homeowner, student dealers are to inform each family of this up-front. This disclaimer is also clearly stated on their business cards, marketing materials, and the receipt/contract left with customers. Each dealer carries a company-branded sample case, dual-sided ID badge with our company name, contact information, student ID number, and company-branded business supplies and sample products. Many students may also choose to wear apparel with the Southwestern advantage logo.

While becoming a part of your community, you can expect the student dealers to be knowledgeable about your local educational systems, both public and private. Understanding the local school systems is a practice that allows students to better serve the educational wants, needs, and goals of the families they visit.

Customer orders and deposits are taken over the course of the summer by the student. The deposits are remitted to Southwestern Advantage to cover the wholesale product cost. Orders are then shipped in bulk to the student dealer, and then personally delivered as the fall semester begins but before the student must return to scholar home. Most individual orders can be shipped directly to customers in lieu of a personal delivery. Some students may also have inventory on hand, allowing for immediate delivery if paid in full at the time of purchase.

Contact our Customer Care team and they will provide the dealer with your new address or ship the product to your new address if distance becomes a factor in personal delivery.

Bottom line: Southwestern Advantage guarantees delivery of all orders. The student dealer will personally deliver their orders. However, if a dealer is physically unable to make the delivery, our Customer Care team will ship the product directly to you. If the order was set up in payments, the product will ship after the last payment is received.

Yes. Many international students participate in this program. For them, this is a cultural and entrepreneurial experience to enhance their resume/CV. They will learn about American or Canadian culture and communicate with thousands of families throughout the summer. International students who participate in the program come from over 25 different countries.

Just like American students, they are trained up-front on what the expectations of the program are before coming to the US. They attend an initial information session (conducted in English), usually on their campus, followed by multiple follow-up interviews. They also must have a visa-sponsor and pass an Embassy interview.

Just like with U.S. students, whenever possible, the parents are met with personally by a sales leader, and a seminar for parents is held in the late spring to fully educate them on the program as well.

Students accept payments in the form of cash, check, credit card and Electronic Funds Transfer  (EFT). Since student dealers are running their own independent business, they purchase products at wholesale from Southwestern Advantage and sell them at suggested retail to consumers. This is how all legitimate direct selling companies operate. Students open their own bank accounts and are taught how to manage their business from generating customers and ordering inventory to ethics and money management. Since the students pays Southwestern Advantage for the products, the check is made out to them.

A further example would be if you purchase an appliance at a store, the check would be made out to the retail store selling the appliance and not the manufacturer.

THREE DAYS from purchase date.

As a direct selling company, Southwestern Advantage falls under Federal Trade Commission guidelines regarding cancellations (Title 16, Chapter 1, Part 429, Sections 1 and 2). This provides U.S. customers with a 3 business day cancellation window from the date of the sale to cancel an order (10 days for Canadian customers under law in Canada). Saturday is considered a business day. This information is provided on the receipt which serves as a legally binding contract the consumer enters with the student. Please read the receipt upon purchase. Southwestern Advantage is a third party to the sale and can only legally cancel products during the three-day period.

Southwestern Advantage has been in continuous business with the sales and leadership program for over 150 years. The company has been recognized by many organizations and has won many awards including the Torch Award for Ethical Commerce from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), recognized a Top Work Place by The Tennessean and was also recently named the Top Internship in the U.S. by the Cooperative Education and Internship Association.

Southwestern Advantage is an accredited member of the BBB and maintains an A+ rating. In addition the company has outstanding ratings on review sites, including: (As of October 2020) BBB: 4.8 out of 5; Indeed: 4.4 out of 5; Google: 4.6 out of 5; Glassdoor: 4.8 out of 5.

The students who participate have been carefully selected and have even been endorsed into the program by their parents. The parents are met with in person when distance allows or via phone or a Zoom call. There is a multiple day follow-up to the interview process on campus. Students attend training while on campus and a week-long seminar in Nashville called “Sales School” where in addition to business management, other things such as ethics, safety and being professional are taught. Once in their community for the summer, students visit the local police or sheriff and check in leaving behind info on who they are, where they are staying and how to get in touch with them. They also leave info behind on the company and how to contact the company.

The students are simply working their way through school and have chosen to participate in a challenging program to build character and gain the skills they need to achieve their goals in life. They knock on doors because this is one way for them to face their fears, overcome rejection, learn how to be better communicators and build a business while still in school.

Student dealers participating in our program are provided with a double-sided ID badge and lanyard which includes Southwestern Advantage company contact information. They also carry a sample case with the Southwestern Advantage logo which contains Southwestern Advantage sample products and company branded business supplies. You may also input the first or last name of the person and/or their company account number on our website by clicking here. Most students will also have business cards that will have their photo and Facebook business page. You may also contact our Customer Care team to verify a student.

Our prices are available by speaking directly with a student dealer or calling our Customer Care team. The reason for this is that prices may vary slightly depending on the location and cost-of-living/business expenses incurred by a student dealer as they run their own independent business. Southwestern Advantage supplies the products to the students at a wholesale rate, and they sell it at suggested retail prices. These prices also vary based on what line of products are purchased, the packages selected, and shipping/taxes. For example, products purchased in Nashville near the warehouse may be priced differently than products purchased in Alaska or Canada.

In order not to compete with the business of the students, Southwestern Advantage does not have retail outlets or sell via ecommerce. The students are the preferred vehicle of sales so they can continue to support themselves financially without competition through other channels

The learning system is an integrated suite of print, software, and online resources designed to develop both academic skills and success principles in students from pre-K through college prep. 

 Elements of the learning system are tailored by our student reps during presentation and delivery to further the educational goals of the families who purchase. Read our blog post for a full explanation of why families use our learning system.

If you have a question about your products, please email our Customer Care Center at customercare@southwesternadvantage.com or call 1-888-551-5901 from 8am-5pm (CST) Mon-Fri.

Established in 1855, Southwestern Advantage is located in Nashville, Tennessee. Southwestern Advantage is the oldest entrepreneurial program for college students in the world, with the sales and leadership program beginning in 1868. Utilizing the direct sales business model, college and university students run their own business selling educational resources to families door-to-door through cold-calling and referrals. The students participate to make money to cover school expenses, gain life skills and can even earn college credit hours.

Each summer, several hundred thousand families make the decision to incorporate the learning resources into their home learning. The products help with homework, make learning fun, contribute to the “whole child,” and enhance the texts and programs used in the classroom.