Accounts & Plans

The Vanguard 529 Plan

Ready to jumpstart your savings?

Reach your education savings goals by investing in a 529 account.

Achieve higher education

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged account for education savings. You can save for your child, another family member, or even for yourself.

We offer different portfolio options

Check out the advantages of each one.

Individual 529 portfolios

Want a more hands-on approach to investing? Design and manage your own investment strategy by choosing from our individual portfolios.

Target Enrollment Portfolio

Target-enrollment investing makes saving for education about as easy as it gets. With our Target Enrollment Portfolios (TEP), you make just 1 decision—and your portfolio does a lot of the work for you.

What can I use 529 savings for?

You can use the money for qualified K-12 private school tuition; higher-education expenses (including tuition at a college, university, trade school, or vocational school); apprenticeship program expenses;** as well as room and board, fees, books, supplies, equipment, computer hardware and software, and internet access and related services.† 

See if a 529 Plan is right for you

Why choose the Vanguard 529 Plan?

More than 300,000 investors across all 50 states have chosen the Vanguard 529 Plan for their kids. ***

Our costs are among the lowest in the industry.* Remember: The less you pay in fees and costs, the more money you’ll have for education expenses.

Do you want to build your portfolio or be hands-free and let us take the wheel? No matter which you prefer, we’ve got you covered! You can choose from our individual 529 portfolios and create your own investing strategy or select 1 of our Target Enrollment Portfolios, which automatically adjusts to become more conservative as the beneficiary’s expected enrollment date approaches.

We hire top investment professionals with the experience and expertise you've come to expect from Vanguard. And as one of the largest 529 plan money managers, we’re here for you now-- and in the long run.**

You may be able to deduct 529 contributions from your state income tax. You can also benefit from tax-deferred growth and tax-free withdrawals for qualified education expenses. †

The Vanguard 529 plan has earned a "Silver" rating from Morningstar.

You can link your bank account to your 529 account and set up an automatic investment schedule, which allows you to add to your savings conveniently and systematically.

You can use Ugift® to invite others to celebrate a child's milestones with the gift of education savings. The gifts are then deposited directly into your Vanguard 529 Plan account.

You can also join Upromise® to get cash back for education when you make everyday purchases. Your Upromise earnings can then be transferred to your 529 account.

What do I need to start a Vanguard 529 account?

It’s fast and easy to get started online. You only need 3 things:

Basic information

Make sure you have the beneficiary’s Social Security number, birth date, and address. 

Investment choices

Pick just 1 Target Enrollment Portfolio or assemble your own investment strategy from our individual portfolios.

Check out our Target Enrollment Portfolios

Check out our individual portfolios

Bank information

If you're going to make your first contribution through an electronic bank transfer, you'll need your bank account and routing numbers. You can also set up automatic contributions from your bank account to your 529 account.

Fees & other details

  • No enrollment fees, transfer fees, or commissions.
  • Minimum initial investment of $3,000 ($1,000 for Nevada residents); minimum additional investment is just $50.
  • Maximum contribution limit is $500,000.

Other plans we service

The New York 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan features Vanguard investments and no minimum contribution amount to get started. Additionally, New York state residents who sign up can receive a generous tax deduction.
Click here to learn more

The Colorado CollegeInvest® Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan features Vanguard investments and a low minimum contribution of $25 to open an account and $15 for additional contributions. Additionally, Colorado residents who sign up can receive a generous tax deduction.††

Learn more

Other plans we service

College Savings Iowa®

The Iowa 529 has low minimum investment of $25 and a range of Vanguard investment options to choose from, including 4 age-based savings tracks--designated for higher education--and 10 individual portfolios.

Learn more

Colorado

The Colorado CollegeInvest® Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan features Vanguard investments and a low minimum contribution of $25 to open an account and $15 for additional contributions. (Learn more)

Colorado

The Colorado CollegeInvest® Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan features Vanguard investments and a low minimum contribution of $25 to open an account and $15 for additional contributions. (Learn more)

New York

The New York 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan features Vanguard investments and no minimum contribution amount to get started. (Learn more)

 

Ready to start?

Ready to start?

More about 529 and your options

More about 529 and your options

Which account is right for your education savings goals?

What is a 529 plan?

Find the right 529 plan for you

FAQs about 529s

College saving for your grandchild (or niece or nephew or…)

529 portfolios backed by our premium brand

529 plan tools

Ready to create a plan for education savings? Learn about your options and map out a way to meet those expenses.

Calculate your 529 state tax deduction

Investing in your state's 529 savings plan? Find out the state tax deduction you might be able to take.

Compare 529 savings plans

Compare the features of a Vanguard-associated 529 savings plan to another state-sponsored 529 plan.

College savings planner

Determine your college savings goals and how much you'll need to save to help meet them.

Learn more about a specific 529 plan

Find detailed information on a 529 savings plan or prepaid tution plan.

College cost projector

Our college cost projector helps determine how inflation could increase the cost of college.

The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan is a Nevada Trust administered by the office of the Nevada State Treasurer.

*Vanguard average 529 expense ratio: 0.15%. Industry average 529 expense ratio: 0.40%. Sources: Vanguard and Strategic Insights, as of March 31, 2020.

**Vanguard managed approximately $98.7 billion in 529 plan assets as of March 31, 2020.

**Earnings on nonqualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements. State tax treatment of withdrawals used for i) expenses for tuition in connection with enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school, ii) expenses related to apprenticeship programs, or iii) student loan repayments is determined by the state(s) where the taxpayer files state income tax. If you are not a Nevada taxpayer, please consult with a tax advisor.

*** Source:Vanguard
† Vanguard average 529 expense ratio: 0.15%. Industry average 529 expense ratio: 0.40%. Sources: Vanguard and Strategic Insights, as of March 31, 2020.

††Contributions to the Plan(s) are deductible from Colorado state income tax in the tax year of the contribution, up to your Colorado taxable income for that year. Such deductions are subject to recapture in subsequent years in which non-qualified withdrawals are made.

† Rated "Silver" by Morningstar, Inc., in 2021. The Morningstar Analyst Rating® for 529 College-Savings Plans is not a credit or risk rating. The rating is the subjective summary expression of the firm's forward-looking quantitative and qualitative analysis of a 529 college savings plan. Analyst Ratings are assigned on a five-tier scale running from Gold to Negative. The top three ratings (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) indicate that Morningstar's analysts think highly of a 529 plan; the differences correspond to the level of analyst conviction in the ability a plan's investment options have to collectively outperform their respective benchmarks and peers through time, within the context of the level of risk taken. The Analyst Rating seeks to evaluate each plan's investment options within the context of its objectives, appropriate benchmarks, and peer groups. Usually annually (although subject to change), Morningstar evaluates 529 plans in five different areas—process, performance, price, parent, and people—and assigns an Analyst Rating for more than 60 529 plans. For more information about the Analyst Ratings, as well as other Morningstar ratings and fund rankings, please visit morningstar.com

For more information about The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan, call 866-734-4533 or obtain a Program Description (PDF), which includes investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information; read and consider it carefully before investing. Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Distributor.

For more information about any 529 savings plan, contact the plan provider to obtain a Program Description, which includes investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information; read and consider it carefully before investing. If you are not a taxpayer of the state offering the plan, consider before investing whether your or the designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program. Other state benefits may include financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors. Vanguard Marketing Corporation serves as distributor for some 529 plans.

If you are not a Nevada taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program. Other state benefits may include financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors.

State tax treatment of K–12 withdrawals is determined by the state(s) where the taxpayer files state income tax. Please consult with a tax advisor for further guidance.

The Vanguard Group, Inc., serves as the Investment Manager for The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan and through its affiliate, Vanguard Marketing Corporation, markets and distributes the Plan. Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC, serves as Program Manager and has overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations. The Plan's portfolios, although they invest in Vanguard mutual funds, are not mutual funds. Investment returns are not guaranteed and you could lose money by investing in the Plan.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.

Upromise is a registered service mark of Upromise, Inc. Ugift is a registered service mark of Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC. Please note that Upromise is an optional service offered by Upromise, Inc., and is separate from the Plan. Specific terms and conditions apply. Participating companies, contribution levels, and terms and conditions subject to change without notice.

Upromise is an optional service offered by Upromise, Inc.; is separate from The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan; and is not affiliated with the state of Nevada. Terms and conditions apply to the Upromise service. Participating companies, contribution levels, and terms and conditions are subject to change at any time without notice. For more information about Upromise, go to upromise.com.