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Online College Saving 529 Account

Giving the Gift of College Savings, Online

Buying gifts for kids is fun and easy — who doesn't love sorting through all of the cool toys and adorable books geared toward lil ones? If there's a child in your life who will be getting gifts from you often, like a niece or nephew, you may consider giving a gift that takes into account the child's future.

State-sponsored 529 plans are a great way to save for college because they are tax-deferred accounts, and only the interest earned in the account is taxed once the funds are withdrawn and put toward educational expenses. Traditionally, gifting contributions to an account that doesn't belong to your own child have been paperwork ridden and a hassle.

Freshman Fund has developed a system that allows contributions to be made online — no paperwork required — and lets account owners (usually parents) invite others to contribute to a 529 plan. After you've completed your information online, you simply mail in a check to complete your gift.

What do you think of giving college fund contributions as gifts?


Join The Conversation
pier pier 8 years
I think it's a great idea. When my godson was born 3 years ago, I wanted to contribute to a 529 for him instead of buying him a toy he REALLY didn't need since he is child #3 in the family. If his parents had ever set one up for him, I would have contributed. Now my daughter and several of her cousins have set up accounts for their children and linked them to Freshman Fund. It makes it so easy for grandparents and aunts and uncles to help out with a practical gift.
jeffrese jeffrese 8 years
Hey Sugar, Great article but you mis-read the original from the Washington Post. Upromise still requires old fashioned paperwork "You can fill out the forms online and print a coupon that you mail with your check." It's Freshman Fund ( that allows 529 gifts online and it works with all 529 plans.
SugarKat SugarKat 8 years
I haven't...yet. If they ask for that, then I'll get it for them. We have a college fund set up for Izzy...her grandparents set it up right after she was born. If people would like to contribute to that for her instead of a plastic gift, then woohoo for that.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
I signed up for Upromise when I was a freshman in college [for my little brother and sister] ... and it's been nearly 10 years and things still don't add up to enough to anything. I can't send my brother through college with $12. You'd have to do a lot of shopping, sign up for an affiliated loan, get a mortgage from an affiliated bank, open an affiliated credit card, etc. for all those little cents to add up to something worth building interest on.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i learned about upromise in Florida when i saw that they had it and i'm really open to things like that. if you can unintentionally contribute to a college fund then that's one of the best things since we all know that the cost of tuition is just going to rise at an insane rate over the next few years. i have this fear that my kids are going to want to go to school and it'll be close to $100k for a year of room and board along w/ tuition and expenses.
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