By Curtis Loftis for The Island Eye News
Looking for a special holiday present? The gift of college savings could be the perfect choice this Christmas. Like you, your friends and family are busy making their holiday lists. Help take some of the guesswork out of their gift-giving. Let them know your child would benefit most of all from a Future Scholar contribution – instead of a more traditional holiday present. With Future Scholar, everyone can give the meaningful gift of education. Here are five great reasons to put South Carolina’s 529 college savings plan at the top of every shopping list this holiday season:
1. It’s a gift that fits, no matter how much your child grows and changes.
Unlike sweaters and socks, Future Scholar is designed to grow with kids.
Savings can be used to pay tuition and expenses at universities, technical colleges, apprenticeship programs and graduate schools. Students can use their savings at any eligible higher education program in the country — or around the world.
2. One simple way to drop a hint for everyone.
Suggesting the gift of Future Scholar is easy for moms and dads. Through their Future Scholar account, parents can use eGift — an email invitation to family and friends. Future Scholar helps you write the email by giving you ideas for what to say and includes a link so that gift contributions can be made directly to the child’s Future Scholar account.
3. Easy, hassle-free shopping.
For grandparents and other family and friends, Future Scholar is the stress-free way to get Christmas shopping done. With an eGift invitation, contributions can be made entirely online at any time. And unlike traditional online shopping, there’s no worry about delayed shipments, missing parts, or the annoyance of returning anything that might not fit. And even if you prefer to send a check, there’s still no crowded stores, no long lines, and no traffic.
4. The gift-giver can get a gift, too.
Anyone who contributes to a Future Scholar account can deduct that amount on their S.C. state income tax returns. So, when grandparents, other relatives and friends give the gift of education to a child, they can get the gift of tax savings for themselves.
5. Less stuff, more college savings.
The thrill of playing with a new toy may last just a few weeks. Often, it becomes just another item broken or forgotten and shoved to the back of the closet.
College savings, on the other hand, can grow in value as your child grows.
Every dollar that’s gifted to a Future Scholar account can reduce the amount a child may need to borrow to pay for higher education. Get started. According to retail experts, holiday shopping started even earlier than usual this year. Add to that the possibility of dreaded toy shortages, it’s time to get started! Send an eGift invitation to friends and family as soon as possible and let Future Scholar help make everyone’s holidays brighter.
Curtis Loftis is the State Treasurer of South Carolina. He also serves as the administrator of South Carolina’s Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan. Visit treasurer.sc.gov or futurescholar.com for more information on ways to save through a 529 plan.