A young waitress is grabbing a plate in a restaurant’s kitchen.
Investing for life events

Find the right 529 plan for you

3 minute read

4 things to look for in a 529 plan

1. State tax benefits

First, see what tax breaks your state offers for qualified higher-education expenses. Some states give benefits regardless of which state's 529 you invest in.* State tax treatment of K–12 withdrawals is determined by the state(s) where the taxpayer files state income tax. You should consult with a tax advisor for further guidance.

2. Fees & cost

The less you pay in fees and costs, the more you'll have left to pay for college. Even costs that may seem insignificantly higher could eventually offset any state tax benefit you get from your state's plan.

See the importance of costs

3. Investment choices

If you're interested in simplifying your education savings decisions, consider plans that include enrollment-year options with portfolio management built-in. These are single portfolios that automatically adjust for you—becoming more conservative as students get closer to the year they expect to enroll in school.

Learn more about the investment options in The Vanguard 529 Plan

4. Initial investment amount

Contributing a large chunk of money to your 529 account is a great way to kick-start your college savings, but in today's world, that may not be possible. So look for a plan that has a minimum investment that fits your budget.

See how The Vanguard 529 stacks up

  • Tell us where you live.
  • See if you get a tax break.
  • Compare plans.

Compare 529 college savings plans

You get more with The Vanguard 529 Plan

Low costs, award-winning investments, and a high level of customer service are just a few things you can expect from us. 

See the added perks of saving in The Vanguard 529 Plan

Open a Vanguard 529 account

Open a Vanguard 529 account

More about 529 and your options

Which account is right for your education savings goals?

What is a 529 plan?

FAQs about 529s

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

529 portfolios backed by our premium brand

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

*The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.

For more information about The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan, call 866-734-4533 or obtain a Program Description, 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 college 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.

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.

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 bnefits may include financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors.

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