529 Plans: Introduction and List of Plans By State

A 529 plan is an investment account that offers a tax-advantaged way to save for your college. Compare plans to find the best 529 for you.
Erica Corbin
Alana Benson
By Alana Benson and  Erica Corbin 
Updated
Edited by Arielle O'Shea

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A 529 plan can be a great way to save for college, especially as inflation surges. You just have to know where to start.

What is a 529 account?

A 529 is a tax-advantaged college savings plan that can be used to pay for a beneficiary’s qualified education expenses, such as tuition or books. While it was first limited to higher education, the funds can now be used for kindergarten through grade 12 as well as certified apprenticeship programs and qualified student loan repayments.

There are two types of 529 plans:

  1. 529 college savings plans are the most common type. Investments grow tax-free and can be withdrawn tax-free for educational expenses such as tuition, room and board, and required textbooks.

  2. 529 prepaid plans let you prepay part or all of an in-state public tuition, locking in the tuition at time of payment.

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How do I find the best 529 plans?

Start by looking at your state’s plans. Unlike retirement and other investment accounts, 529 savings plans are typically operated by states, which makes searching for the best option fairly easy. If your state offers a tax deduction for contributing, you’ll likely get the most bang for your buck by contributing to its plan.

You don't have to contribute to your state’s plan, though. You’re free to choose any plan you’d like, so it’s worth comparing your options. Plus, some states offer more than one 529 plan to consider.

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🤓Nerdy Tip

Looking to save a little money? Consider direct-sold 529 plans, which are sold by the state, rather than through an advisor. Cutting out the middleman, so to speak, often results in lower fees. Just know that you'll be responsible for managing your investment.

529 plans by state

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You can find detailed information about each state's 529 plan below, including the minimum contribution you'll have to make to start an account.

State

Plan Name

Tax benefit for in-state contributors?

Minimum contribution

Alabama

Yes

$0

Alaska

No

$25

Arizona

Yes

$25 or less

Arkansas

Yes

$25

California

No

$0

Colorado

Yes

$25

Connecticut

Yes

$0

Delaware

No

$0

District of Columbia

Yes

$25

Florida

No

$0

Georgia

Yes

$25

Hawaii

Yes

$15

Idaho

Yes

$25

Illinois

Yes

$0

Indiana

Yes

$10

Iowa

Yes

$25

Kansas

Yes

$0

Kentucky

No

$25

Louisiana

Yes

$10

Maine

No

$25

Maryland

Yes

$25

Massachusetts

Yes

$0

Michigan

Yes

$25

Minnesota

Yes

$25

Mississippi

Yes

$25

Missouri

Yes

$1

Montana

Yes

$25

Nebraska

Yes

$0

Nevada

No

$15

New Hampshire

No

$0

New Jersey

No

$25

New Mexico

Yes

$1

New York

Yes

$0

North Carolina

No

$25

North Dakota

Yes

$25

Ohio

Yes

$25

Oklahoma

Yes

$100

Oregon

Yes

$25

Pennsylvania

Yes

$10

Rhode Island

Yes

$0

South Carolina

Yes

$0

South Dakota

No

$250

Tennessee

No

$25

Texas

No

$25

Utah

Yes

$0

Vermont

Yes

$25

Virginia

Yes

$10

Washington

No

$25

West Virginia

Yes

$1

Wisconsin

Yes

$25

Wyoming

No plan available.

Prepaid 529 plans by state

This table shows only prepaid plans. Note that the minimum contributions required depend on the cost of a credit or the monthly payment plan. You'll need to check the specific plan for the correct minimum.

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