Special Reports

WaysTo Give College Savings As Christmas Gifts


Christmas time is coming, and with it comes the season of giving gifts. If you're thinking about giving a gift that will greatly impact a child's life and will last long, why not give the gift of college savings?

There are more ways to give the gift of college savings today more than ever, reports U.S. News. More than just the usual 529 plans, there are other ways investing in a child's future can be done. And the child's parents will be more than just happy with that kind of gift.

According to study by Fidelity Investments, 84 percent of parents would prefer college contributions in lieu of traditional gifts from family and friends such as apparel, toys, and electronics, and 90 percent of parents say higher education is the best gift they have ever received. In fact, 74 percent of parents say they would have wanted to receive less gifts for themselves and more money for a college education.

"It is the Christmas season, and that is a good time to provide that," Lloyd Gurley, a Durham, North Carolina, resident told U.S. News.

Looking for ways to give college education as a gift to a child? Here are some ways to do that.

529 websites

Some 529 plans allow for customized webpages that gift-givers can use to directly contribute to the college saver's plan. This platform gives parents, friends, and family peace of mind that the money they send goes directly to a savings plan, says Fidelity's VP of retirement and college savings Keith Bernhardt.

Gift Cards

Certain gift cards, offered by Gift Of College and also made available at Toys R Us and Babies R Us, can be linked to college savings accounts. These cards can be used with any 529 account in the country, but will need to be redeemed at giftofcollege.com.

U.S. Savings Bonds

Savings bonds, which can be purchased through the TreasuryDirect website, are safe investments that can be redeemed tax-free for qualified higher education expenses.

"You have the backing and safety of it being a U.S. government bond," Bernhardt says.

Cash or Checks

While not tech-savvy, checks or paper bills can still be set aside for college. It also comes with the bonus of being available for emergencies long before the child goes to university.

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