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Savings Social Networking Programs

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Savings social network sites try to encourage friends, family and businesses to contribute to a child's college education. These facilitator or "college registry" sites make it less awkward to ask for support. Some may also provide a benefit to the donor, such as updates on the child's academic progress. The donor can use their contributions to encourage the student to get good grades and succeed in school. The sites may automatically solicit contributions before important events, such as birthdays and graduations. This helps the contributors avoid the embarrassment of forgetting a special occasion. They may also include a rebate component similar to those of the credit card loyalty programs.

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Savings facilitator sites include:

  • Gift of College (free for recipients, 5% fee per contribution with $10 cap)
  • GradeFund (5% fee upon distribution with a $5 minimum)

Another site, EduLender (no fees), is more focused on helping students raise money to pay off their student loans.

Some of the college savings loyalty programs also have social networking features. For example, Upromise allows friends and family to set up Upromise accounts that funnel their rebates into your account and also offers a "Guest Shopping" URL for people who are not Upromise members to use to direct college savings rebates to your account.

See also the Fastweb article How To Ask Friends and Family for Money for a Child's College Savings Plan.

 

 
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