Private College 529 Plan Basics

The Private College 529 Plan is a prepaid tuition plan that is available to any state residents across the country and allows for them to lock in current tuition rates at today’s prices and fees for future tuition costs. It’s the only 529 plan not issued by a state. (Other 529 plans are generally state-sponsored.) The nearly 300 participating colleges nationwide sponsor the plan and guarantee the prepaid tuition.

Contributions to the Private College 529 Plan purchase tuition certificates. If college tuition increases, the family would save money by locking in the price of tuition. A minimum of 36 months must pass between the contribution and the first redemption of tuition certificates. Account funds must be used within the 30 years of the contribution or a refund will be requested.

Additionally, account owners must contribute a minimum of $500 within the first two years of opening their account. This can be a lump sum payment or an installment plan over a two-year period. There are maximum contributions as well. Account balance cannot exceed the cost of five years of full-time undergraduate tuition and related mandatory fees at the highest-cost participating institution. This program can only be used once students enroll in participating colleges or universities.

Intuition for College Savings Solutions, LLC serves as the plan’s program manager. Tuition Plan Consortium LLC (TPC) serves as the plan sponsor. The TPC is a non-profit organization composed of participating colleges and universities. The TPC is responsible for the plan’s design and oversight. Alta Trust Company, appointed by the TPC, serves as the program trustee.

Any 529 plan can be linked to the Upromise rewards service. Earn an extra $25 bonus when you connect a 529 account to your Upromise profile.

Which colleges and universities participate in the Private College 529 Plan?

There are hundreds of participating schools across the U.S. who participate in the Private College 529 Plan, including Notre Dame, Princeton, MIT, Duke, Tulane, Wake Forest, and Stanford. For a full list of all participating schools, visit

What are some 529 plan benefits and tax advantages?

Funds you invest in a 529 plan grow tax-deferred. And funds that the student eventually withdraws from the plan towards their college education or other qualified educational costs are free from federal taxes.

A common misconception is that these 529 plan assets will disqualify your child from financial aid. On the contrary, 529 plan funds are treated more favorably in the financial aid formula than other savings in your child’s name through a custodial account such as an UTMA/UGMA. This is because assets in a child’s 529 plan belong to the parent not child, and FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) gives preferential tax treatment to assets belonging to a student’s parent versus the student.

While we are providing general information about the state’s 529 plan, please consult the Plan Description and Participation Agreement for more detailed information and facts about the plan.

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