Grandparents, Here’s How to Give COLLEGE SAVINGS as Holiday Gifts

This article on how grandparents can give college savings as holiday gifts was updated on October 28th, 2021. 

Grandparents love to dote on their beloved grandchildren, but let’s face it. Older kids and teens are notoriously hard to shop for.

How can grandparents give a relatively inexpensive holiday gift that will be remembered with tears and great appreciation for years down the line?

No matter your income level or budget, Grandma and Grandpa, here’s an ingenious idea for deeply impacting the kids you love this holiday season.


Write a letter, put the letter in a box, and wrap the box.

Now imagine this scenario.

The child or teen opens a wrapped box from you, and inside he finds an envelope that says, “Isaac, read this later. Love, Grandma and Grandpa.”

In this special letter you tell him how much you love him, what admirable good character and potential you see in him, how proud you are of what he’s accomplished the previous year, how excited you are to see him have a successful future, and that you have made a contribution to a fund where you’re saving for his future education.

You don’t have to tell anyone the actual amount you’ve put into this college fund.

Any amount, even $10.00, is generous.

If you like to write, you can add more detail to this letter.

The letter could also include stories from your own life, along with wise advice for this boy’s future. Letters like these become increasingly precious to kids as the years go by—even if you’ve invested only a small amount in the college savings account each year.

Parents who’ve read pages 23–25 of my book will carefully save these letters.

On those pages, I strongly urge parents to carefully save these letters (along with photos of you and the child together), and then eventually use an online service to create a scrapbook out of them.

When this child is an adult, this scrapbook will mean more to him or her than a hundred sweaters and plastic toys.

What if your savings for this kid’s college ends up being over $100.00, and you want to invest it?

As this college savings fund gets larger, you may want to invest it so it can grow and increase in value while you’re sleeping. You shouldn’t do this until you’ve had a financial advising professional help you with your own retirement planning of course—but if you’ve got that taken care of, here’s what to consider as you invest this college savings money.

Invest in such a way that you protect the child’s future financial aid eligibility.

You don’t want the government and other institutions to one day look at this beloved child and say: “Well—we’re not giving you any money to help pay for your college! You’re swimming in money that your grandma/uncle/godparents gave you!”

To protect this child’s future financial aid eligibility (and to protect your financial interests as well), I suggest you talk to a financial advising professional about opening a 529 college savings plan in your name with the child you want to help named as the beneficiary.

(If your financial advisor says, Who is this Jeannie Burlowski person sending people to me with these great ideas!?” show him or her the short, 3-minute video I made especially for financial advisors here.)

I understand that you as a grandparent probably have many questions about this whole idea.

“What if I put money in college savings, and then I get sick and need the money back? Can I get it back?” (Yes.)

“What if I save money in a college fund, and then I die before my grandson ever goes to college? Would my estate have to pay tax on it?”

“What if I pay over $15,000 of my grandson’s college tuition in one year? Could I be hit with a gift tax for doing that?”

“What if my granddaughter wants to put some of her own money into this 529 college savings plan, so it won’t be noticed when her family’s finances get scrutinized for financial aid eligibility? Can she do that?” (Yes. Learn here why this is a great idea.)

I provide answers to these and many other grandparent questions in my free downloadable fact sheet.

(If you’re a parent, download and print this fact sheet for the grandparents who love your kids.)

Get this fact sheet now by clicking below: 

How to Give College Savings As Gifts and Get Happy Hugs in Response

(This link won’t open on some phones. If this happens to you, please open it on your desktop computer.)

Do this, and you just might change the life of someone you dearly love. 

All while spending no more money on holiday gifts than you are right now.

Remember, my book LAUNCH makes a truly life-changing holiday gift.

Think—who on your gift list has kids under age 18? You can buy copies right now, here.

Learn how to use LAUNCH most efficiently using the 10-minute video training at

If you’re a parent, share this article with the grandparents in your family the next time they ask, “What should we get Joey for a present?

Let’s keep in touch—so I can help your family every week.

Subscribe to my free weekly email newsletter here.

(Tell your friends and family members to subscribe too. The more people you have with you on this journey—the more successful you’ll be!)

I’m Jeannie Burlowski, and I’m the author of the book:

LAUNCH contains many, many ideas that grandparents can use to help the grandchildren they love.

It’s a reference book, so nobody reads the whole thing cover to cover. Pick out what you need to read in it using the fast-paced, 10-minute video instructions here.

You can see more than 100 reviews of it on Amazon at:

You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCHhere.

You can see the top 9 questions parents and grandparents are asking me about LAUNCHhere.

If parents or grandparents will read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while the kids they love are in middle school and high school, they’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.

And if a child you love is already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it.

Get regular, inspiring help from me—every Monday morning.

Subscribe to my free weekly email newsletter here.

Do you have specific questions for me about debt-free college and career for your kids?

It’s my members that get most direct access to me. Doors to my membership open each year for just 5 days in March, and 5 days in September. It costs just pennies per day, but space is limited. Join the Waiting List here.

If you’ve found valuable info in this article, please help me by tweeting it out to the people who follow you.

What about you?

Have you been thinking about your grandchildren’s college savings at all? Which strategies in the free downloadable article were most helpful to you? Comment below, or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.

Who is Jeannie Burlowski? 

Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26, their parents and grandparents, and the professionals who serve them. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free, ready to move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, Parents Magazineand US News and World Report, and on CBS News.

Jeannie also helps students apply to law, medical, business, and grad school at her website You can follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.