529 college savings plans

Call 888-381-8283 to talk to an education savings specialist.
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Save for education expenses with tax-free investment growth potential

Our education savings consultants are here to help you find the right 529 college savings plan for you.
Get the Basics

What you get from a 529 plan

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Tax advantages

Any earnings can grow free of federal and state income tax. Some states offer an income tax deduction, reduction or credit for plan contributions.
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Flexibility

You can use your  account to cover tuition, books, supplies, and even some room and board costs. You can also change the beneficiary at any time to another eligible beneficiary.
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Choices

TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. manages plans for 10 states and you can choose any of them based on your needs - no matter what state you live in.

Get the Basics

529 college savings plans help you save for higher education

A 529 college savings plan is designed to help you save for higher education (including community college and technical schools). You can open one for your children, grandchildren or even yourself.
saving is simple

Saving is simple

1
OPEN AN ACCOUNT Enroll online by selecting a state plan below or open your account by requesting an enrollment kit.
2
CONTRIBUTE & INVEST Choose investment option(s), set up regular contributions, and invite family and friends to contribute, too.
3
PAY FOR COLLEGE Withdraw money from your plan tax free, as long as the money goes toward educational expenses.
4
MANAGE WHAT’S LEFT If any money is left over, you can continue to invest your savings tax free for future beneficiaries.
TIAA Options

Any state, any school: open an account for a 529 college savings plan

TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI) manages plans in 10 states. You can choose from any of them—not just the state you live in. And you can use your 529 college savings plan account savings to pay for a 4-year college, graduate program, technical school or community college in any state.
  • Fees
    Annual fees range from 0.10% to 0.59% of the average daily assets of your account.
    Tax advantages
    You won’t pay any federal or California state income taxes on  any earnings if you use them to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
    Investment options
    • Age-based investment portfolios
    • Multi-fund investment portfolios
    • Single-fund investment portfolios
    • Principal plus interest investment portfolio
  • Fees
    Annual fees range from 0.21% to 1.11% of the average daily assets of your account.
    Tax advantages
    • You won’t pay any federal or Connecticut state income taxes on  any  earnings if you use them to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
    • If you pay taxes in Connecticut, you can deduct up to $5,000 (if filing singly) or $10,000 (if filing jointly) of your contributions to a CHET account from your adjusted gross income when you file your taxes. (If you transfer funds from another 529 college savings account, that amount isn’t eligible for the Connecticut income tax deduction.)
    Investment options
    • Conservative managed allocation options
    • Moderate managed allocation option
    • Aggressive managed allocation option
    • Global equity index option
    • Global tactical asset allocation option
    • Active global equity option
    • International equity index option
    • U.S. equity index option
    • High equity balanced option
    • Active fixed-income option
    • Index fixed-income option
    • Social choice option
    • Money market option
    • Principal plus interest option
  • Fees
    Annual fees range from 0.23% to 0.36% of the average daily assets of your account.
    Tax advantages
    • You won’t pay any federal or Georgia state income taxes on  any  earnings if you use them to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
    • If you pay income taxes in Georgia, you can contribute and deduct up to $2,000 each year on behalf of any beneficiary, regardless of your annual income. (If you transfer funds from another state’s 529 college savings account, that amount isn’t eligible for the Georgia income tax deduction, and recapture provisions apply.
    Investment options
    • Managed allocation
    • Aggressive managed allocation
    • 100% equity
    • Balanced fund
    • 100% fixed-income
    • Money market
    • Guaranteed
  • Fees
    Annual fees range from 0.54% to 0.91% of the average daily assets of your account.
    Tax advantages
    You won’t pay any federal or Kentucky state income taxes on  any  earnings if you use them to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
    Investment options
    • Active equity option
    • Equity index option
    • Balanced option
    • Fixed-income option
    • Guaranteed
  • Fees
    Annual management fees range from 0.12% to 0.24% of the average daily assets of your account.
    Tax advantages
    • You won’t pay any federal or Michigan state income taxes on  any  earnings if you use them to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
    • If you pay income taxes in Michigan, you may be able to deduct up to $5,000 (if filing singly) or $10,000 (if filing jointly) of your contributions to a MESP from your adjusted gross income when you file your taxes,  less any qualified withdrawals made during the same tax year.  Amounts transferred from another 529 college savings plan are not eligible for the Michigan income tax deduction.
    Investment options
    • Conservative age-based allocation option
    • Moderate age-based allocation option
    • Aggressive age-based allocation option
    • International equity index
    • Global equity index option
    • U.S. equity option
    • Balanced option
    • 100% fixed income option
    • Principal plus interest option
     
  • Fees
    Annual fees range from 0.18% to 0.33% of the average daily assets of your account.
    Tax advantages
    You won’t pay any federal or Minnesota state income taxes on  any  earnings if you use them to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
    Investment options
    • Managed allocation option
    • Aggressive allocation option
    • Moderate allocation option
    • Conservative allocation option
    • International equity index option
    • U.S. and international equity option
    • U.S. large cap equity option
    • Equity and interest accumulation option
    • 100% fixed-income option
    • Money market option
    • Principal plus interest option
  • Fees
    Annual fees range from 0.63% to 0.72% of the average daily assets of your account.
    Tax advantages
    You won’t pay any federal or Mississippi state income taxes on any earnings if you use them to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
    Investment options
    • Managed allocation option
    • Aggressive allocation option
    • Moderate allocation option
    • Conservative allocation option
    • Diversified equity option
    • Fixed income option
    • Guaranteed option
     
  • Fees
    Annual fees range from 0.40% to 0.84% of the average daily assets of your account.
    Tax advantages
    • You won’t pay any federal or Oklahoma state income taxes on any earnings if you use them to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
    • If you pay income taxes in Oklahoma, you can deduct up to $10,000 (if filing singly) or $20,000 (if filing jointly) of your contributions to an Oklahoma 529 from your adjusted gross income when you file your taxes, with a five-year carryforward. Amounts deducted may be subject to recapture if a non-qualified withdrawal or rollover is taken (depending on the timing of that transaction), which could result in Oklahoma income tax penalties.
    Investment options
    • Moderate managed allocation
    • Conservative managed allocation
    • Aggressive managed allocation
    • U.S. equity index
    • Diversified equity
    • Global equity index
    • Balanced
    • Fixed income
    • Guaranteed
     
  • Fees
    Annual fees range from 0.27% to 0.70% of the average daily assets of your account.
    Tax advantages
    • You won’t pay any federal or Oregon state income taxes on  any  earnings if you use them to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
    • If you pay income taxes in Oregon, you can deduct up to $2,300 (if filing singly) or $4,600 (if filing jointly) of your contributions to an Oregon College Savings Plan from your adjusted gross income when you file your taxes.  Recapture provisions apply.
    Investment options
    • Age-based portfolios
    • Multi-fund portfolios
    • Single-fund portfolios
    • Principal protection portfolio
     
  • Fees
    Annual fees range from 0.13% to 0.44% of the average daily assets of your account.
    Tax advantages
    • You won’t pay any federal or Wisconsin state income taxes on  any  earnings if you use them to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
    • If you are a Wisconsin taxpayer, your contributions to Edvest may reduce your taxable income up to a maximum of $3,100 per beneficiary. You may also contribute greater than the eligible amount each year and use the difference for subsequent years' state tax benefits until exhausted. For example, a $10,000 contribution may qualify for benefits over three, four, or more tax years.  Limitations, restrictions and/or recapture provisions may apply.
    Investment options
    • Aged-based option
    • Aggressive aged-based option
    • Multi-fund options
    • Single-fund options
    • Stable value options
     
Help Me Choose

Commonly asked 529 college savings plan questions

  • A 529 college savings plan offers unique tax advantages for people investing money for college.  By law, all 529 college savings plans must be state sponsored, but you don’t have to be a resident of a particular state to invest in that state's plan (but there may be income tax advantages available only to state residents for a particular plan). There’s no income limit to participate in a 529 college savings plan, and you can open one on behalf of any beneficiary — even yourself.
  • 529 college savings plan features can differ from state to state, like contribution limits, fees, in-state tax advantages, and available investment options.
  • In general, any U.S. citizen or resident alien with a Social Security Number or federal Taxpayer Identification Number can open and contribute to a 529 college savings plan account on behalf of a beneficiary. You can even open an account for yourself.
  • Any U.S. citizen or resident alien, including the account owner, can be the beneficiary. The beneficiary must have a valid Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number.
  • Yes, with most plans you can change the beneficiary or transfer a portion of your investment to a different beneficiary, provided the new beneficiary is an eligible "member of the family" of the previous beneficiary.
  • A "member of the family" is a person related to the account beneficiary, including:
    • a child or a descendant of a child
    • a brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister
    • the father or mother, or an ancestor of either
    • a stepfather or stepmother
    • a son or daughter of a brother or sister
    • a brother or sister of the father or mother
    • a son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law
    • the spouse of the beneficiary or spouse of any of the above family members
    • a first cousin of the beneficiary
    In these cases, “a child” includes a legally adopted child and a stepson or stepdaughter. A “brother or sister” includes a half-brother or half-sister.
  • The maximum amount you can invest is determined by the specific state plan you choose and varies from state to state. For many plans, the limit is $300,000 or more for all accounts in the plan for a beneficiary.
  • If your account beneficiary doesn’t attend college, the owner, may name another account beneficiary (who must be a family member of the beneficiary that is being replaced). Otherwise, if you withdraw the funds for a purpose other than to pay for qualified higher education, then you would have to pay federal income tax on the earnings portion of the withdrawal, plus face an additional 10% federal tax penalty. There may also be state tax consequences. We recommend you talk to a qualified tax advisor.
  • If your beneficiary receives a scholarship, you can withdraw the funds from your account up to the amount of the scholarship without penalty or additional tax. The earnings portion of the amount withdrawn will be subject to the additional 10% federal tax to the extent the amount withdrawn exceeds the amount of the scholarship . We recommend you talk to a qualified tax advisor.
  • You won’t pay any federal or state income taxes on your 529 college savings plan account earnings if you use them to pay for qualified higher education expenses. Qualified higher education expenses include tuition, fees and certain room and board charges, among other things.

    Contributions to a college savings plan aren’t deductible for federal income tax purposes, but some states allow their residents to deduct contributions from their state income taxes. Check with your state to determine what limits currently apply.
  • An eligible educational institution generally includes accredited postsecondary educational institutions offering credit toward a bachelor's degree, an associate's degree, a graduate-level degree or professional degree, or another recognized postsecondary credential.
    Contact the school to determine if it qualifies as an eligible educational institution or use the Federal School Code Search  on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)  website.
  • Qualified higher education expenses include tuition, fees, certain room and board expenses, and the cost of books, supplies, and equipment required for your beneficiary to enroll in and attend an eligible educational institution.
    Computers and related technology such as internet access fees, software or printers are also qualified education expenses.
    If your beneficiary requires special needs services in connection with their ability to enroll in or attend an eligible institution, those services are also considered qualified expenses.

WHY TIAA

Experience. Knowledge. Leadership.

We were one of the first financial services firms to enter the 529 college savings plan market, and we’re still at the head of the class.

We manage 10 low-cost, 529 state college savings plan programs — none of which have sales charges, start-up or maintenance fees. Plus, our dedicated education savings specialists can answer your questions and help you choose a plan that works best for you.
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Learn more about 529 plans

AARP College Savings Solutions from TIAA helps you learn the ins and outs of 529 college savings plans.
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How we’re different

TIAA has served those working in nonprofits, education and medicine for almost 100 years. See what else sets us apart.
AARP College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF is a program provided by TIAA-CREF and not AARP or its affiliates. TIAA-CREF pays a royalty fee to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. AARP does not employ or endorse TIAA-CREF associates. Please contact TIAA-CREF directly for details.
The 529 college savings plans listed above are offered and administered by the state. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. is the program manager. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, member FINRA, distributor and underwriter for the plans referenced above. Most states offer a 529 college savings plan. Before investing, check your state's website for information about any favorable state tax benefits that are only available if you invest in that state’s plan.
Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in a state 529 college savings plan. Carefully read the Disclosure Booklet available on each state’s site, or call us at 888-381-8283.
Investments in a state 529 college savings plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is risk of investment loss.
Non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional federal 10% tax. Taxpayers should seek advice from an independent tax advisor based on their own particular circumstances.
Neither TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., nor its affiliates, are responsible for the content found on the external website links contained herein.
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