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Most families combine some level of savings and borrowing when paying for college. The best way 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 is usually more cost-effective than borrowing money and paying interest on it.1

Find money in your budget

With all the drains on your budget, what can you really afford to save for your child's education? 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.

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* AT $4/DAY WITH 5% INTEREST
This is a hypothetical scenario and does not reflect an actual investment.
Source: "Pay for College - College Savings Calculator." The College Board April 2015.

Start a savings conversation with your kids

Talking to them while they're still young can help them play an active role in making their future a success. To get you started, the Arkansas 529 GIFT Plan has some fun tools.


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  • Little by Little ebook: Children become a part of a series of short stories designed to teach them how little by little things grow.
  • What is Money?: We explain the basics of money and why it is important.
  • When I Grow Up: Through activity based interactions they'll think about what they want to be in the future.
  • Save, Share, and Spend: Save for the future, spend today, share a little with those in need.

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  • Dream job finder: Interactive gameboards let kids follow their interests to uncover their dream jobs, whether they love sports, art, music, technology, business, helping others, being outdoors, shopping, or being involved in the community.
  • Get educated: Find out how much college or vocational school your child will need to achieve the career of their dreams.
  • Compare results: Parents take the challenge to see how well they really know their child and what it takes to help them reach their dreams.

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  • College Cost Cruncher: Get a ballpark estimate of what your college degree could cost.
  • College Compare-izer: Compare your favorite schools based on a list of criteria that's important to you.
  • Brag Bank: Keep track of your experience to build a stronger college resume.
  • FAFSA Checker: Organize the items you need to fill out your FAFSA.

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

Ascensus Broker Dealer Services is the distributor of The Arkansas 529 GIFT Plan, Learn more about Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc. 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 visit www.thegiftplan.com 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, Inc. ("ABD") is the Distributor of the GIFT Plan.

Please Note: Before investing in any 529 plan, you should consider whether your or the beneficiary's home state offers a 529 plan that provides its taxpayers with state tax or other benefits that are only available through investment in the home state's 529 plan. You should 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.