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Give a Gift

The gift of education is always welcome whether for special occasions, holidays, or just to recognize the achievements of a special young person.

Are you a Maine resident? If either the account owner or the account beneficiary is a Maine resident, contributions, including gifts, may be matched with Maine’s annual NextStep Matching Grant1. Contributions will be matched by 30% every year, up to a $300 match.

How to Make a Gift Contribution

Consider enlisting grandparents, other family members and friends to give the gift of education and help you meet your family’s college savings goals.

Gift givers can contribute to your account by mailing a check:

  1. Instruct the gift giver to write a check to: NextGen 529 FBO (your child’s name)
  2. Download and print a contribution coupon.
  3. Fill out contribution coupon — make sure to include the NextGen 529 account number. If you don’t have your account number handy, find it on your most recent NextGen 529 account statement or call Merrill at 1-877-463-9843.
  4. Mail the completed contribution coupon and check to:
    1. For Direct Series accounts:
      Merrill Edge
      P.O. Box 962
      Newark, NJ 07101-0962
    2. For Select Series accounts:
      College Plan Services
      P.O. Box 1518
      Pennington, NJ 08534

Did you know gift contributions can be made through Gift of College?


Gift of College* offers options for family and friends to make contributions to college savings accounts. A NextGen 529 account owner can create an online gift registry at and link it to his or her account. Relatives and friends can then use Gift of College to make gift contributions to the NextGen 529 account online or to purchase a Gift of College gift card. Visit to learn more!


*Gift of College Inc. and its website,, are not associated with FAME or NextGen 529 or Merrill Lynch, and FAME. NextGen 529 and Merrill Lynch expressly disclaim any responsibility for or liability associated with their products and services, including but not limited to, any transaction effected through The service is mentioned for your information only. Users should carefully review the Gift of College Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, contribution methods, and fees before using, and users assume all risks of site registration and membership, and making purchases and contributions on, as applicable. If a contribution is effected through, proper credit or investment to a NextGen 529 account cannot be guaranteed or confirmed by Merrill Lynch or FAME.

Estate Planning

A contribution to a 529 plan account is treated as a completed gift from the donor to the designated beneficiary of the account and qualifies for the annual federal gift tax exclusion of $15,000 ($30,000 for married couples filing jointly), per beneficiary. This affords a unique opportunity in which you can remove assets from your taxable estate while contributing to an account that you control. You may also be able to take advantage of a federal gift tax election that applies only to 529 plan contributions. This election allows a lump-sum contribution of up to $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples filing jointly), which is five times the annual exclusion amount, per beneficiary in one year and treats the contribution as if it was made ratably over five years. This gifting strategy may be an attractive option for grandparents wishing to help fund college for one or more grandchildren.3