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This Year, College Savings Foundation Survey of Parents Shows Gifts of Education Savings Easier

November 28, 2018

Contact: Lynthia Romney (914) 238-2145/(914) 589-2140 romneycom@gmail.com

CSF members find that there is an increase in giving the gift of education savings around the holidays

Washington, DC, November 28 – This holiday season, a proliferation of college savings tools such as customized gifting websites, e-gift cards, online registries and gift certificates are making college savings more accessible for families and friends. New data from the College Savings Foundation (CSF) 2018 State of College Savings survey found that 96% of parents across the country said 529 college savings gift registries and online gifting tools would make college savings easier.

CSF’s survey also found that 61% of parents said they would ask friends and family to help by making a gift of college savings instead of a material gift.

“Parents are increasingly comfortable engaging their family members and friends in saving for their children’s education goals. Online gifting tools and registries make it easier for parents to share their interest in saving and for family and friends to help them,” said Richard J. Polimeni, Chair of CSF, a Washington, D.C.- based not-for-profit organization helping American families achieve their education savings goals.  

CSF members who are 529 plan sponsors and managers are making gifting options available to savers to create a community of saving by making giving the gift of education savings easier for these savers to use. This is done through customized web pages with information about the family or child, including quotes, photos and even avatars. Some CSF members use social media sites to help parents get the word out about the 529 college savings plan accounts they own for their children, and provide a link to a website where friends and family can contribute directly to a 529 college savings account.

Some CSF members are seeing increases in use and year-over-year participation. Citing year-end gifting as a way to provide holiday gifts or start off the New Year with positive savings habits, several CSF members noted that this is a peak time for contributions.

CSF member programs offering gifting options include CollegeChoice 529 (Indiana), the College Savings Bank, a Division of NexBank SSB; the 529 plans administered by Fidelity Investments (New Hampshire, MEFA/Massachusetts, Arizona and Delaware); Franklin Templeton’s 529 College Savings Plan and NJBEST New Jersey’s 529 College Savings Plan; Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program; MI 529 Advisor Plan; NEST Direct and NEST Advisor College Savings Plans of Nebraska; Ohio’s 529 Plan; Private College 529 Plan; California ScholarShare 529 Plan (both direct and in partnership with GiftofCollege.com); Alaska’s UA College Savings Plan and T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan; My529, Utah, and the Virginia529 Plan (direct online and in partnership with Invest529 Gift of College gift cards). In addition, GiftofCollege.com offers a college savings gift registry and physical gift cards (online and through various retailers) for contributions to any 529 plan. Plan details can be found at https://www.collegesavingsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Member-Gifting-Programs-FINAL-w-links.pdf

While December and January are popular months for gifts, interest in gifting options is not limited to holidays, as CSF members indicate increasing interest in college savings gifts for birthdays, baby showers and graduations.

The CSF State of College Savings survey of parents was conducted through survey monkey with an audience from philipgarland.com LLC of 800 parents across the country and evenly divided across income levels.

The College Savings Foundation (CSF) is a Washington, D.C.-based not-for-profit organization helping American families achieve their education savings goals.  For more information, please go to www.collegesavingsfoundation.org

During these changing times, the College Savings Foundation recollects wise words once spoken by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” CSF’s education savings mission serves families and individuals of all income levels and ethnic backgrounds across the nation.