Upromise by Sallie Mae Survey Finds Parents Prefer Money for College over Traditional Gifts This Holiday Season

“Selfie Generation” Not Focused on Themselves: Majority of
Millennial Parents More Interested in Saving for College

Last Minute Shopping Still a Thing: Quarter of All Parents Buy
Gifts the Night Before

NEWARK, Del.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, Upromise
by Sallie Mae
surveyed parents to learn how they plan to buy gifts
this year and what’s on their holiday wish lists. According to the
survey, money for college is top of mind for parents, with two-thirds
(68 percent) of all parents agreeing a contribution to their child’s
college savings fund is the ideal gift. Of all parents, the survey found
millennials prefer cash for their child’s college fund the most (78

While parents want money for college savings, more than half (57
percent) admit they aren’t comfortable asking friends or family members
to contribute money toward their child’s college savings account. Almost
half (43 percent) of parents did rank spending time with their children
without any distractions at the top of their wish list.

“Holiday shopping tends to be one of the biggest culprits in derailing
budgets for families each year,” said Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche,
national brand ambassador for Upromise by Sallie Mae. “Enacting simple
strategies, such as setting spending limits before shopping and using
rewards programs like Upromise that put money back in your pocket, can
help consumers stay on track during the holidays.”

The survey of 500 parents also revealed the following holiday shopping

  • Nothing like waiting until the last minute. Approximately one
    quarter of surveyed parents buy all their
    gifts the night before. That last minute shopping may also be the
    reason why nearly 25 percent of parents also reported mistakenly
    leaving price tags on gifts.
  • Holiday shopping on a budget? Think again. More than half the
    survey respondents – 55 percent – said they don’t set a mutually
    agreed-upon budget with friends and family. Of those who do set
    holiday spending limits, 25 percent said they intend to exceed the
    pre-established limits.
  • Shopping for themselves, too. Almost half (43 percent) of
    parents admit to buying gifts for themselves when shopping for others
    during the holidays, an increase from 25 percent last year.
  • Paying with plastic. More than three quarters of parents
    surveyed (78 percent) plan to shop with a credit card this holiday
    season. That doesn’t mean those cards will be working overtime, as
    only 18 percent said they would use more than 25 percent of their
    credit limit. Men are more likely than women to buy gifts with credit
    cards (84 percent of men, vs. 74 percent of women).

“There is no question that college is a valuable investment– and this
survey confirms that investment resonates most with millennial parents,”
said David O’Connell, president, Upromise by Sallie Mae. “The good news
is, with Upromise by Sallie Mae, families can also save for college
while they shop
for the holidays
, and link their holiday spending to any college
savings account.”

This holiday season, Upromise is helping families save even more for
college. Every Tuesday, from now until Dec. 22, Upromise members can
earn up to 15 percent cash back for college with featured partners,
including Etsy, Under Armour, and Guitar Center. Last holiday season
Upromise members earned more than $14 million toward college.

Free and easy to join, Upromise by Sallie Mae allows families to earn
cash back for college from everyday purchases by shopping online with
more than 850 partners.
Cash earned may be invested in an eligible 529 college savings plan,
used to help pay down an eligible student loan, transferred into an
FDIC-insured Upromise
account, or withdrawn by check. Members who have the Upromise
World MasterCard
earn double the percentage cash back.

To date, Upromise members have earned more than $900 million for
education, more than $250 million of which has been deposited directly
into 529 college savings accounts. To learn more, visit Upromise.com.

Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation’s saving, planning, and
paying for college company. Whether college is a long way off or just
around the corner, Sallie Mae offers products that promote responsible
personal finance, including private education loans, Upromise rewards,
scholarship search, college financial planning tools, and online retail
banking. Learn more at SallieMae.com.
Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are
not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


Sallie Mae
Abigail Brooks, 302-451-0230