By Patricia Roberts, Chief Operating Officer, Gift of College, Inc.

August 30, 2022

September is National College Savings Month. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, parent-to-be, employer, or someone interested in saving for your own future education, there are various ways to participate in this month-long celebration. Here are just a few:

  1. Welcome a newborn with a gift toward college.

With more babies born in September than any other month of the year, consider giving a contribution toward a college savings account to celebrate a newborn. It’s an easy-to-give gift that will be greatly appreciated and can grow with a child instead of being quickly outgrown.

2. Participate in a College Savings Month event. 

529 plans across the United States are celebrating College Savings Month in a variety of ways, including special promotions, contests, and virtual and in-person events. Research what your state plan has to offer and encourage others to consider participating with you.

3. Put college savings on your back-to-school checklist.

The children you love are one year closer to college this back-to-school season. Consider making a college savings account contribution to them as a way of celebrating wherever they are in their educational journey. Whether they are starting kindergarten, middle school, high school or a grade level somewhere in between, any amount contributed toward the future cost of postsecondary education will be that much less that will need to be borrowed and repaid with interest.

4. Bring college savings to the workplace.

If you’re an employer, human resource professional, or employee resource group leader, consider having an educational session for your colleagues about how to prepare for higher education expenses. With nearly two-thirds of Americans unfamiliar with 529 college savings plans, you will be empowering those in your organization with valuable information that can greatly enhance financial well-being.

5. Assess your own progress.

If you’re a parent, grandparent or other individual with a future student in your life, assess where you are in the planning process. If you haven’t yet started saving, take 15 minutes this month and open a 529 college savings account to begin contributing. If you’ve already opened an account, take a careful look at your progress, adjust as necessary given your time horizon and investment objectives, and consider automating contributions if you haven’t yet done so. With a third of the calendar year still remaining, there’s plenty of time to make additional progress toward your goals and to enjoy the tax benefits of your 529 plan investment.

May this year’s National College Savings Month provide you with the knowledge and inspiration you need to help you and those you care about prepare to pursue higher education.

About the author:

Patricia Roberts is the Chief Operating Officer of Gift of College, Inc. and the author of Route 529: A Parent’s Guide to Saving for College and Career Training with 529 Plans.