Pay it forward: Creative holiday gifts can go toward education

Give the gift of college this holiday season

(CNN) - Do you have children, teens or high schoolers on your holiday gift-giving list?

If so, consider a gift that will keep on giving - all the way into their college years.

There are plenty of ways to contribute to college savings plans - from straight donations to 529 plans, to recycling old gift cards for tuition dollars.

An added plus, if you want to contribute to a 529, is that you may get a tax break.

More than 30 states offer a state income tax deduction or a state tax credit for contributions to 529 plans.

And if you have unused gift cards around, you can even turn those into gifts for college.

Check out the website giftofcollege.com. There you can exchange your gift card for an e-gift card to put toward a college education.

The site accepts gift cards from more than 200 retailers, including Starbucks and Barnes & Noble.

You can use the new e-gift card to put into any 529 plan, or even to help pay down student loan debt.

And Gift of College also sells separate gift cards as a way to contribute to someone's college education.

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