529 Plans by State
A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future education expenses, primarily for college or other higher education institutions.
Opening a 529 plan in another state, also known as an out-of-state 529 plan, can be a strategic decision based on several factors. (If you live in Wyoming, you must open an out-of-state plan—there isn’t an in-state option.)
There are two main types of 529 plans:
- College Savings Plans allow you to invest your contributions in various investment options, such as mutual funds. The value of your account will fluctuate based on the performance of the investments you choose.
- Prepaid Tuition Plans: These allow you to purchase tuition credits at today’s prices for use in the future. They typically cover tuition and mandatory fees.
Why open a 529 plan in a state other than your own?
- Better Investment Options: Some states offer 529 plans with a broader range of investment options or lower fees than what’s available in your home state’s program. By choosing a plan from another state, you can access investment funds that align more closely with your risk tolerance, investment strategy, and overall financial objectives. Lower fees and more favorable investment options can potentially lead to more significant growth in your account over time.
- Stronger Tax Benefits: While you might receive state income tax incentives for contributing to your state’s 529 plan, some out-of-state plans offer even more attractive tax benefits. You won’t benefit from the tax deduction or credit if you live in a state with limited or no state income tax. In such cases, opening a plan in a state with strong tax advantages can be advantageous. However, carefully weigh the potential tax savings against any additional benefits your home state might offer, such as matching grants or scholarships.
- Matching Grants or Scholarships: Some states offer unique matching grant programs or scholarships to residents who contribute to their state’s 529 plan. However, these programs often come with specific eligibility requirements and might not align with your financial situation or educational goals. If another state’s plan offers more attractive matching grant opportunities or scholarships that fit your needs, it could make sense to consider opening an account there.
College savings 529 plans by state
Many plans have no minimum contribution limit. Forty-eight states have a minimum contribution of $25 or less. The only exceptions are South Dakota ($250) and Oklahoma ($100).
Prepaid 529 plans by state
|State||Plan||Tax Benefit for In-State Contributors?|
|Florida||Florida Prepaid Plans||No|
|Maryland||Maryland Prepaid College Trust||Yes|
|Massachusetts||U.Plan Prepaid Tuition Program||Yes|
|Michigan||Michigan Education Trust (MET)||Yes|
|Mississippi||Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Plan (MPACT)||Yes|
|Nevada||Nevada Prepaid Tuition Program||No|
|Texas||Texas Tuition Promise Fund||No|
|Washington||Guaranteed Education Tuition||No|
529 Plan Aggregate Contribution Limits
|State||Aggregate contribution limit|
|Nevada||Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan: $500,000
USAA 529 Education Savings Plan: $500,000
SSGA Upromise 529 Plan: $500,000
|Wyoming||No 529 plan available|