Saving for college – You don't have to do it alone

Trying to keep up with rising tuition costs can be tough, but saving and investing for your child's future isn't a challenge you have to take on alone. Consider one or all of the following strategies to help support your own savings efforts.

The gift of college savings – friends and family can help

You generally don't have to be a resident of a particular state to invest in a specific plan. For example, a resident of New Jersey can still invest in New York's 529 Advisor-Guided College Savings Program. Certain states, however, may offer incentives for residents or beneficiaries selecting their home state's Plan. Be sure to consult your tax advisor or review the State's program documents for further details.

Consider the following guidelines to help you select the plan that is most appropriate for you.

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even friends can help contribute to a child's college education by contributing to your beneficiary's 529 plan or by opening their own. For example, suggest a contribution to your child's 529 account when friends and family inquire about gift ideas for birthdays, graduations, holidays or other special occasions. Contributing to college savings instead of buying toys or traditional presents is a lifelong gift that will never go out of style—and can make a meaningful difference in a child's future.

Additionally, grandparents can transfer wealth and leave a lasting legacy to future generations by opening a 529 account. Opening or contributing to an account can offer attractive estate planning benefits as well, since 529 contributions are considered completed gifts for federal gift and estate purposes and are excluded from an account owner's estate.

Learn more about Ugift®, an online tool to help friends and family contribute to your Advisor-Guided Plan account.

When evaluating a particular state's Plan, you should weigh any potential tax advantages with other features such as quality of investment options and plan fees, in order to make an informed decision. You may discover that your state Plan offers attractive tax benefits, but has higher fees than another state's Plan. It is important to work with your financial advisor to select the best plan for your particular situation.

Add to your college savings with Rewards

Upromise® is free to join and lets you turn everyday spending purchases into extra money for college savings. Upromise members can earn college savings on everyday spending purchases at a number of online and service locations, including retail/travel web sites, grocery stores, and restaurants. Best of all, when you join Upromise, you can link your Upromise account to your Advisor-Guided Plan account so your earnings can be automatically transferred on a periodic basis. Visit for more information.Footnote1

Learn more about Upromise

Involve your child in the savings process

Encourage your child to invest a portion of their savings toward their college education. As they get older, children can begin to allocate a portion of their allowance or money from after-school or summer jobs to their college savings. They can also contribute some or all of their high school graduation money to their college education as well. By encouraging regular saving, you may be doing more than helping your child grow their college savings—you may be also teaching them an enduring lesson about financial priorities and the value of a college education.

Begin footnote 1 content.Return to footnote reference 1 Upromise is an optional service offered by Upromise, Inc., is separate from New York’s 529 Advisor-Guided College Savings Program, and is not affiliated with the State of New York. Specific terms and conditions apply. Participating companies, contribution levels, terms and conditions subject to change without notice. Transfers subject to $25 minimum.Return to footnote reference 1End footnote 1 content.

How do I open an Advisor-Guided Plan account?
You may open an account by contacting any broker or financial advisor.
How much can I contribute to my account?
You can contribute on behalf of a beneficiary until the total balance of all Program accounts held for the same beneficiary reaches an aggregate maximum balance, currently $375,000. If there's more than one account owner contributing for the beneficiary, this is the total for all accounts. Once this limit is reached, you can no longer make additional contributions, but you can continue to accumulate earnings.