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New Gift Idea: Chip in to Pay Cost of Tuition

Don't know what to get a teenager or young adult in your life for the next holiday? You could pool your money with other friends and relatives to pay for college expenses.

A new website, ShareAGift.com, allows people (or a friend or family member on their behalf ) to create gift pages for a specific purpose—to raise money for a laptop, trip, or college tuition. An email invitation can go out to friends and family, along with updates on the money contributed and reminders. The contributor pays $1, plus PayPal transaction fees.

Justine Angelli is founder and chief executive officer of the London- and San Jose, Calif. -based company that launched the website this fall. She says with the high cost of college, this is a practical gift for uncles and aunts who live far away from students and don't have the time to shop. The system organizes the group gift and eliminates tracking down contributors. It also has the potential for reaching a wide group online as people tap into their social-networking lists, says Angelli.

Last year, I wrote about a charitable version of this idea with CO-Fund, a website where you can contribute online toward the tuition of a low-income student. Novel approaches to managing the rising costs of high education.

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