Pee your way to college with Upromise

The internet-based business Upromise follows the traditional shopping portal model, with an interesting twist; with every sheet of Charmin you use, you add to your college savings fund.

Upromise takes a two-pronged approach to profit. The first prong is to convince you to use its site to access online merchants with which it has a relationship. For example, if you want to buy a book from Amazon, you would first visit Upromise, and follow its link to Amazon. Amazon will then pay Upromise a little bit for bringing it the business, and Upromise will deposit a taste of that rebate into your college savings fund.

The second prong covers your storefront shopping. For grocery shopping, Upromise has agreements with major manufacturers (including Charmin) to rebate part of the sales price for purchases of selected items made by Upromise members. You pre-register your grocery store card with Upromise (most large chains are members, such as Krogers and Giant Eagle), which Upromise uses to identify qualifying purchases. The manufacturer then rebates a portion of the sale price to Upromise, and it in turn deposits a bit of that money into your college savings account.