If you’re thinking of asking your family and friends for help with your child’s higher education aspirations during the holiday season, then you’re not alone. Fifty-eight percent of parents are already thinking about asking their families and friends for an investment in their child’s education, according to the College Savings Foundation (CSF).

CSF is a not-for-profit based in Washington, D.C., that seeks to provide information and resources for U.S. families saving for college. The foundation includes members of the financial services industry involved with sponsoring or managing 529s.

Its “State of College Savings” 2017 survey included 800 U.S. parents with divergent incomes. The report says 95 percent of parents think online gifting tools and college savings gift registries would make saving for college more convenient.

“Parents today are comfortable with online college gifting options and willing to engage their family and their circle of friends who share their savings goals,” said Richard J. Polimeni, chair of CSF and director of education savings at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, in a statement.

To meet clients’ needs, firms and digital platforms are providing more ways for parents to accept and manage college savings gifts. 

The College Savings Foundation put together a list of products available to parents based on its pool of members. Here are some of the options they mentioned.


Fidelity’s College Gifting Platform



Parents who have a college savings account with Fidelity can create an editable personalized gifting page for their child and invite family and friends to contribute. 

Parents can send invitations through Facebook or Twitter or by sharing a link via e-mail or text. Friends and family members interested can contribute with an electronic check.

Parents are able to manage contributions through a private dashboard.

According to CSF, people who have a Fidelity-managed retail 529 college savings account, which includes the UNIQUE College Investing Plan, the MEFA U.Fund College Investing Plan, the Delaware College Investment Plan and the Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan, can sign up for the 529 Online Gifting Service. Learn more here.