The Gift that Keeps Giving

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, December 8, 2021

My kids’ Christmas lists have been building for months now. William wants Hot Wheels; Henry, popits; Madeleine, an iPad. Of course, their lists keep getting longer (and more expensive) every time we ask.

Like most parents, we like Santa to spoil them at least a little each Christmas, but the truth is my kids (like most) have plenty of toys. That’s why it’s sometimes nice to think about giving them an experience instead of a new gadget – and we are clearly not alone in this idea.

Each holiday season, our College Savings Mississippi team talks with parents and grandparents who want to fill the stocking with a gift that will keep on giving for years to come: a college fund.

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With tuition rates rising and books and board more expensive than ever, more families are relying on college savings accounts (in addition to scholarships, grants, and student loans). In fact, during the 2018-19 school year, just 44 percent of families had a plan to pay for their child’s education. By 2019-20, that number jumped to 52 percent. A year later, the number increased to 58 percent.

While it’s frequently parents putting away a little each month, an increasing number of grandparents, extended family, and friends are starting to contribute too – often times, around the holidays and birthdays.

College Savings Mississippi makes these gifts easy to give. Our Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) accounts, for instance, can be started with a contribution as small as $25. Once opened, anyone can contribute. Moreover, you can rest assured the funds will be limited to educational spending, including tuition, books, and room and board. The money has the opportunity to grow over time as well, which truly makes this a gift that will keep on giving.

This holiday season, I encourage you to look at a college savings contribution in lieu of (or in addition to) your regular gift giving. To learn more about the plans offered through College Savings Mississippi, please visit

Mississippi Treasurer David McRae is the 55th Treasurer for the State of Mississippi. In this role, he helps manage the state’s cash flow, oversees College Savings Mississippi, and has returned more than $30 million in unclaimed money to Mississippians. For more information, visit