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’Tis the season for college savings: Sallie Mae encourages wrapping up the year with the gift of college


This holiday season why not encourage family and friends to give the lasting gift of college in a 529 account and to receive money for college when shopping online at

NEWTON, Mass. - Want to brighten a child’s holiday season and future? The holidays are the perfect time for family members and friends to spread the joy of higher education while benefiting from estate planning and potential tax benefits.

“The holidays are a time of giving and year-end financial planning,” said Jeff Howkins, president of Sallie Mae subsidiary Upromise Investments. “Gift-givers can give the long-lasting gift of a contribution to a 529 college savings plan account, and at the same time they’ll benefit from smart financial planning.”

During the holidays friends and family can contribute money for college into a 529 college savings plan and benefit from tax-deferred growth and possible year-end tax advantages as many states provide income tax deductions or credits for contributions into 529 plans. Parents and grandparents can contribute as much as $13,000 ($26,000 if married filing jointly) in a single year without incurring gift taxes. A special rule allows married couples to gift up to $130,000 ($65,000 if single) as long as no additional gifts are made to that beneficiary over a five-year period. For nearly all 529 plans administered by Sallie Mae’s Upromise Investments, gifts can be given directly to a child’s 529 college savings account using Ugift. Information on each state’s 529 tax advantages is available at

When buying gifts, be sure to start your shopping at to avoid the lines and earn 1-25 percent back in college savings. Plus, Upromise is giving holiday shoppers who pay with the Upromise credit card an additional 2 percent back in college savings at more than 700 participating online retailers. Last year during the holiday season Upromise members received $12 million in college savings rewards from eligible holiday spending. Upromise is free to join and members have earned $575 million in college savings from hundreds of participating merchants by shopping online, buying gas or groceries, booking travel and dining out. Rewards can be directed to any beneficiary and may be invested in certain tax-advantaged 529 college savings plans (subject to meeting certain requirements), deposited in a high-yield savings account, used to pay down an eligible student loan or simply withdrawn for college or other expenses.

For more information about 529 college savings plans managed or administered by Upromise Investments, Inc., call (877) 529-2980 or go to

Before investing in any 529 plan, you should consider whether you or the designated beneficiary’s home state offers a 529 plan that provides its taxpayers with state tax and other benefits that are only available through the home state’s 529 plan. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are included in a 529 college savings plan’s offering statement; read and consider it carefully before investing.

SLM Corporation (NYSE: SLM), commonly known as Sallie Mae, is the nation’s leading saving, planning and paying for education company. Sallie Mae’s saving programs, planning resources and financing options have helped more than 31 million people make the investment in higher education. The company services $202 billion in education loans and serves 10 million student and parent customers. Its affiliate Upromise Investments, Inc., manages $27 billion in 529 college savings plans, and members of Upromise by Sallie Mae have earned more than $575 million in rewards to help pay for college. Sallie Mae offers services to a range of institutional clients, including colleges and universities, student loan guarantors and state and federal agencies. More information is available at SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


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