Author: Deborah Goodkin, Managing Director, Savings Plans, First National Bank of Omaha

Cue the gowns and tassels: Graduation season is officially here. Whether your loved one is graduating from kindergarten, elementary, middle school or high school, he or she has achieved a milestone that is cause for celebration.

As you search for the right gift, we at NEST 529 are happy to offer a sound choice. Through Ugift or a gift certificate contribution, it has never been easier to show loved ones how much you care.

Why does a NEST 529 contribution make a meaningful graduation gift at any age? Read on to find out.

Kindergarten Graduates: Give the Gift of Time

In kindergarten, higher education may seem like a long way off. But one of the best gifts that you can give your young graduate is an early start on the college savings journey.

Simply put, saving for a longer stretch of time creates more opportunities to contribute and grow your savings with the market. Because NEST 529 account earnings are state and federal income tax-deferred, the full earnings amount remains in your account and grows with no money being subtracted to pay current tax obligations. Consequently, earnings happen more tax efficiently, helping to increase your account value even faster and maximize earnings potential associated with market growth.

Given the structure of compounded tax-deferred growth, it is in every kindergartener’s best interest to get an early start on his or her NEST 529 account. This spring help your graduate build that base, and encourage friends and family to contribute as well.

Elementary and Middle School Graduates: Give the Gift of Motivation

Graduating elementary and middle schoolers are eagerly anticipating their next steps, whether that be middle school or high school. Dreaming about new classes, friends, activities and accomplishments, the future is full of limitless opportunities. Show these graduates that you believe in their future success, and that the sky is the limit, with a NEST 529 gift contribution.

If your graduate isn’t familiar with the college savings process, a gift contribution is also the perfect spark for a conversation about the hard work and dedication that goes into achieving your dreams. He or she will spend the next few years preparing for higher education and beyond – with a gift contribution, demonstrate the crucial role that college savings will play.

High School Graduates: Give the Gift of Opportunity

Even at high school graduation, it is not too late to give the gift of college savings. After all, higher education brings a variety of expenses. NEST 529 savings can be used to cover many of them, from tuition and fees to supplies, necessary technology and even room and board.  

The more of these expenses new college students can cover with their NEST 529 savings, the more they will be able to focus extra funds in other areas, such as building emergency funds, exploring the world or saving for the future.  

Regardless of a student’s age, higher education is a gift that will last a lifetime. To learn more about NEST 529’s gifting options, including your choice of greeting cards, visit If you have any questions please contact us via email at or by calling 1-888-993-3746.