Give the gift of a brighter future this holiday season

Published 8:23 pm Monday, December 12, 2011

Special to The Post-Searchlight

Whether you are the gift giver that searches for the perfect holiday gift for everyone on your list, an avid online shopper who refuses to fight the holiday crowds or someone who just isn’t sure what to get that special child in your life, there is one gift that is sure to be a hit this holiday season — the gift of a college education.

While it may sound like an expensive or extravagant gift, with as little as $25, gift givers can contribute to a 529 college savings plan for children of all ages. Georgia’s Path2College 529 Plan makes holiday giving easy with the “give a gift” section on its website, By clicking on this link, visitors can easily download a certificate for any occasion, add a personal message and give the gift of an education this holiday season. There are certificates for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, birthdays, new babies and many more.

Email newsletter signup

“It’s always hard to make sure you have the right gift for all the children and young adults in your life,” said Shannon Ferguson, director of the Path2College 529 Plan. “We like to encourage people to give a contribution to a 529 college savings plan instead of, or in addition to, a toy or other gift. It’s a great opportunity to help families prepare for future college costs, and college is a meaningful gift that lasts a lifetime.”

In fact, the holiday season is the busiest time of the year for contributions and new account openings for the Path2College 529 Plan. In 2009 and 2010, approximately 28 percent of the plan’s contributions and 30 percent of new accounts were opened during this quarter.

Ferguson believes the holidays are a popular time for contributions because many parents don’t want more toys and other items that their kids will quickly lose interest in, but instead would like help paying for a large expense that will benefit their children’s lives.

“In an increasingly competitive job market, and with tuition at higher learning institutions rising, planning for a child’s college education is more important today than it has ever been,” said Ferguson. “So asking for a contribution to a 529 college savings plan is a great alternative for parents, and it’s an easy gift for people to give.”

Georgia’s Path2College 529 Plan was recently rated “Above Average” by Morningstar, and it has maintained a 4.5 cap out of 5-cap rating from for more than eight years. Parents, grandparents, relatives and friends who are U.S. citizens or resident aliens and at least 18 years of age may open an account and contribute to the Path2College 529 Plan on behalf of a beneficiary.

“For as little as $25, you can help provide a financial foundation for a child’s future,” said Ferguson. “Every little bit helps, and by saving small amounts over time, significant savings can accumulate, allowing a child to achieve his or her dreams of a college education.”

Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the Path2College 529 Plan. Please visit for a Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information. Read it carefully.