Give the Gift of an Education This Year

December 1, 2008

By Tina Seidel, President, Sanford-Brown College – Collinsville

Do you have someone on your holiday gift list that you need a gift idea for? Have you considered an education? I know this sounds like a long-term commitment that is much more expensive than you could possible afford, but how about a small part of an education? Let's explore educational gift ideas by age groups.

The pre-kindergarten set may enjoy a toy, but think beyond the diapers. Have you thought of a U.S. Savings bond tucked into the latest toy? While the child enjoys the toy, interest is accruing on a U.S. Savings bond that could be used for future educational purposes.

Elementary and middle school student may still enjoy a U.S Savings bond, but consider a new backpack, new markers, and new colored pencils or replacing the lost scissors. Most schools require student to provide their own school supplies. New supplies may be the ideal gift to encourage your student in the New Year.

Does your gift list include a high school student? Have you considered the gift of college visit? By making "a day" out of a college or university visit (even a local one) you'll spend some quality time with your teenager; and may even get them to "unplug" and talk. Choosing a college or university will be one of the biggest decisions they will make in their teenage years and providing them a chance to visit prospective schools will aid them in making the right choice.

If your gift list includes a college-bound high school senior, consider giving a college or university application fee? These fees can add up especially if your senior is applying to several places; and it is a gift that could unlock countless possibilities.

Does your gift list include a student that is already attending college? How about paying part of their tuition, or buying them a textbook? This could be a gift that keeps giving if it reduces the amount of student loans that are required to be repaid once they leave school. Does your college student commute? How about a gas card? It helps them defray the cost of driving to school and can reduce absenteeism.

These are all wonderful gifts to give at the Holidays as they demonstrate your support in achieving their education goal – a gift that will last a lifetime. Isn't that the most precious gift we can give? Happy Holidays!

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