Upromise: How Much Can You Save for Your Child’s College Education?

I’ve saved thousands for my son’s college education without really trying. See how you can do the same.

Saving for your child’s education is an overwhelming process. College-tuition fees go up yearly, and it is impossible to guess how much tuition will cost once your child reaches the age for attending college. This is where Upromise comes in to help. Upromise is a program that will help you save money for your child’s tuition.

What Is Upromise?

Upromise is an organization that was founded in 2001. Upromise helps you earn money back on purchases you would normally make. Your weekly grocery trip turns into college savings for your child. Christmas presents can also amount to college funds. Upromise works as a rebate system similar to other programs out there, but it is designed for college savings instead.

How Does It Work?

You simply attach your debit cards, credit cards or store loyalty cards to your account. When you shop with their partners, Upromise gives you a percentage back. This percentage varies based on the partner, special promotions and other factors. It’s a painless way to earn money towards college tuition.

Tips for Saving With Upromise

It’s important to only shop when you need to shop. Don’t overspend just because you will get a rebate. Shop as you normally would. If you buy clothes at a store that isn’t a partner, you may want to consider switching to a partner store instead. The holidays are a great time to earn the most towards college tuition.

You should also start as early as possible. If you use this program for 18 years, your child could have thousands of dollars towards his or her college education. Even if your child is starting college next year, it doesn’t hurt to start now. You can still bring in a lot of savings.

Invite family members to register their credit cards under the program. Any relative can register for your child’s program and give without changing their lifestyle or spending habits.

When there are promotions with partners, be sure you take advantage of shopping with them during that time. Promotions will usually give you an extra percentage back on purchases. This includes everything from clothes to food. Shopping during peak season is likely to get you the biggest return on your purchases.

Depending on where you live, there is likely a college fund that you can tie to your Upromise account. You transfer funds into the other account, which usually gains dividends on mutual funds. Ours is a Massachusetts 529 plan managed by Fidelity. Although we took a hit and lost some savings during the recession, the plan has since bounced back nicely.

How Much Can You Really Save?

Some users have saved hundreds towards their child’s tuition costs. There are even families who have been using the program since 2001 who have raked in thousands of dollars. By using my account with a 529 plan that earns dividends, we’re up to about $9,000 for my oldest son’s college education. It won’t pay for everything, but will go a long way towards covering costs not provided for through student loans and grants. Plus, if my oldest decides he doesn’t want to go to college, I can use the money for my younger son’s education.

While Upromise is an excellent program with many benefits, don’t expect it to pay for four years of college tuition. It won’t pay that much unless you have only one child and a large family willing to all register in the program.

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