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How to save for education with a 529 account
529 Plan Finder
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 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.
A "member of the family" is a person related to the account beneficiary, including:
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.
- a child or 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, sister-in-law
- the spouse of the beneficiary or spouse of any of the above family members
- a first cousin of the beneficiary
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.
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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 is distributor and underwriter for the plans managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. Most states offer a 529 college savings plan.
Before investing, check your state's website for information about any favorable state tax benefits or other benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds or protections from creditors 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.