Thanks to ScholarShare for sponsoring this post.
Are you looking for gift ideas that will help your future college student?
Even if college is a few years away, there are still some great ways to use the holidays to help your child be ready for the future.
There are all kinds of ways you can use gifts to help your child prepare for college. Here are a few of our favorites:
Start a ScholarShare 529 Plan
We are huge fans of letting your money work for you. A ScholarShare 529 plan lets your money grow tax-free. Funds can be used on any qualifying expenses such as tuition, books, computers, and more!
You can open an account with as little as $25 and it is easy for family and friends to make gift money to your account for holidays and birthdays. Open a ScholarShare account for Christmas and let your family members who are interested in contributing know that they can add money as a holiday gift.
When it is time to go to college, your child will appreciate those gifts much more than toys that would have been long since forgotten.
When kids go away for college, they need more than just books. Stocking a dorm or apartment kitchen can be expensive if you don’t start early. During the teen years, you can gift a new kitchen gift each holiday season to simplify the process of stocking a kitchen when they leave for school.
Focus on things that will not become outdated or wear down in the early teen years, like pots and pans, knives or silverware. Save small appliances for the year before your child leaves for college. You can find great deals during the holidays on small appliances so those make wonderful gifts the year before your child will leave for school.
Gifts to Support Extracurricular Activities
Colleges strongly consider extracurricular activities during the admission process but some activities can be expensive. Consider gifting items that will help your child participate in extracurricular activities or will help your child improve their skills for activities they already participate in.
Does your child need funds for an upcoming trip for band, sports, or a club event? Does your child need sporting equipment to participate on a team? Does your child need extra support with their skills in the form of an additional class or private coach? Does your child need a musical instrument or an upgrade to participate in band or orchestra?
Gifts to Improve Skills
Colleges are so competitive these days. Having a special skill or talent can really help your child stand out from the crowd. Think about what your child’s current hobbies or interests are and consider gifts that strengthen those things. Maybe a DSLR camera would help your child improve his photography skills or develop an interest in photo journalism. Do you have a science-loving kid? There are some great chemistry sets as well as kits that teach electronics, coding, and ore.
Kids often use college as a way to expand on interests that they developed during high school. Encouraging them to go deeper with their current interests or explore new hobbies can be a great way for them to get a feel for what they’d like to study in college.
If your teen will be heading to college in the next year or so, a laptop is a great gift. She’ll need a computer when she leaves for school and you can find great deals during the holiday season. Consider your child’s interests when buying a computer. If your child is interested in studying graphic design or a computer related field, she’ll need a computer with more processing power. Consider the size your child needs. There can be a big difference between size and weight on laptops. If your child will be trekking across campus quite a bit or won’t have a car at school, you may want to go with the lightest laptop you can.
What gift ideas are you considering for your future college student?
More posts about college prep:
- What to Do if You Got a Late Start Saving for College
- 20 Life Skills Every College Student Should Know
- How to Create a College Savings Plan you Can Stick To
- 25 Quick Jobs Kids Can Do to Open a College Savings Account
- How are you Going to Pay for College?
- One Thing you Can do TODAY to Start Saving for College