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Small and steady can really add up.

Most families combine some level of savings and borrowing when paying for college. One of the best ways to build your savings is to put money aside early and often. Thanks to the power of compounding, saving and investing even a little each month can be more cost-effective than borrowing money and paying interest on it.1

Let’s say, with an assumed annual return of 5%, you began saving $10 a month when your child was 1 year old (with an initial contribution of $250). At this saving rate, your 529 college savings plan could potentially have an account worth $3,280 by the time your child is college age.2

The Importance of Saving for College Early. If you start saving $10/month at age 1 you will have $3,280 at age 18. If you start saving $10/month at age 6 you will have $1,793 at age 18. If you start saving $10/month at age 15 you will have $418 at age 18.

Managing to save even a small contribution each month is a far better plan than borrowing all of what you'll need when the time comes. Our College Savings Planner is an easy way to help you:

  • Find out how much college could cost when your child reaches enrollment age
  • See if you are on track to reaching a college savings goal
  • Show how saving now can significantly reduce the amount you may need to borrow.

Get started with the College Savings Planner now.

Find money in your budget

With all of the strain on your budget, you may ask yourself – how much can I really afford to save for my child's education? Good news: even $30 a month—less than the cost of your morning coffee or a few lunches out—can go a long way toward helping you save more and borrow less.

Save for college, one cup at a time. Put the cost of one $4 coffee per day toward college savings and the results can be eye-opening. After 5 years you will have $8,195. After 10 years you will have $18,712. After 18 years you will have $42,079.

This is a hypothetical scenario and does not reflect an actual investment.
Source: "Pay for College - College Savings Calculator." The College Board April 2015.


1 A plan of regular investment cannot ensure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.

2 This hypothetical example is for illustrative purposes only and assumes no withdrawals made during the period shown. It does not represent an actual investment in any particular 529 plan and does not reflect the effect of fees and expenses. Your actual investment return may be higher or lower than that shown. The loan repayment terms are also hypothetical.


Ascensus Broker Dealer Services is the distributor of The Arkansas 529 GIFT Plan, Learn more about Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC on FINRA's BrokerCheck FINRA's BrokerCheck.

For more information about the GIFT College Investing Plan (the "GIFT Plan"), call 1.800.587.7301 or click here to obtain a Program Description and Participation Agreement, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses and other information; read and consider it carefully before making an investment or sending money. Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC (“ABD”), the Program Manager, and its affiliates have overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations, including investment advisory services, recordkeeping, administrative services and marketing of the GIFT Plan. 

Please Note: Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. You should also consult your financial, tax, or other advisor to learn more about how state-based benefits (or any limitations) would apply to your specific circumstances. You also may wish to contact directly your home state’s 529 college savings plan(s), or any other 529 plan, to learn more about those plans’ features, benefits, and limitations. Keep in mind that state-based benefits should be one of many appropriately weighted factors to be considered when making an investment decision.

The GIFT Plan is a college tuition savings program sponsored by the State of Arkansas and administered by the Arkansas Section 529 Plan Review Committee ("Committee"). ABD, the Program Manager, and its affiliates have overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations, including investment advisory services, recordkeeping, administrative services and marketing of the GIFT Plan. The GIFT Plan's Portfolios invest in: (i) mutual funds; or (ii) an FDIC-insured omnibus savings account held in trust by the Committee at Sallie Mae Bank. Except for the GIFT Plan Savings Portfolio, investments in the GIFT Plan are not insured by the FDIC. Units of the Portfolios are municipal securities and the value of units will vary with market conditions.

Investment returns will vary depending upon the performance of the GIFT Plan Portfolios you choose. Except to the extent of FDIC insurance available for the GIFT Plan Savings Portfolio, you could lose all or a portion of your money by investing in the GIFT Plan, depending on market conditions. Account Owners assume all investment risks as well as responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences.

Not FDIC-Insured (except for the GIFT Plan Savings Portfolio). No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee. May Lose Value.