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Scholars Choice College Savings Program
The Colorado Scholars Choice College Savings Program, a Legg Mason-managed 529 savings program is sold exclusively through advisors. It features a lineup of age-based and static portfolio options utilizing funds managed by Legg Mason affiliates and Thornburg. To find a financial advisor in your area, use the Directory of Financial Professionals.
Savingforcollege.com's 5-Cap Ratings provides an evaluation and comparison of 529 plans, utilizing a formula that examines dozens of factors grouped into the following categories. (Scale 0 to 5; 5 is highest)
Find an advisor
Enroll in Scholars Choice College Savings Program through a financial advisor. Search our directory of qualified financial professionals to find one near you.
Did you know?
Residents are not limited to investing in their own state's plan. Another state may offer a plan that performs better and has lower fees. If there is no tax break offered for in-state investors ... shop around!
Also, the plan chosen does not affect which state the student enrolls in. An investor can live in NY, invest in a plan from NV and send a student to college in FL.
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CollegeInvest, a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education
Legg Mason, Inc.
Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC
Through December 31, 2022.
U.S. resident individuals, UGMA/UTMA custodians, legal entities.
Accepts contributions until all account balances in Colorado's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $350,000.
The minimum initial contribution is $250, and the minimum subsequent contribution is $50. The minimum is waived for employer-sponsored arrangements. The $250 minimum initial contribution is also waived with the establishment of periodic automatic funds transfer of $50 or greater.
The Age-Based and Years to Enrollment options contain up to 7 portfolios of underlying mutual funds. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the beneficiary's age, or number of years to expected enrollment, and later reassigned to more conservative portfolios as the beneficiary approaches college age.
Select among 11 investment options: 5 individual fund portfolios and six static options. The static options consist of 5 multi-fund portfolios (Balanced 50/50, All Equity, All Fixed Income, Equity 80%, and Fixed Income 80%), and the Cash Reserve Option.
Legg Mason Capital Management, ClearBridge Advisors, QS Investors, Royce & Associates, Brandywine, Thornburg, and Western Asset Management.
Click here, you need Microsoft Excel to open this document.
Click here to visit, link to the program website containing most current performance data.
Fees & Expenses
None, but contributions may be subject to a sales charge depending on share class.
$20 annual fee, waived for account owners or beneficiaries who are Colorado or Wyoming residents (with account established prior to December 1, 2011 for Wyoming resident) and for accounts with at least $2,500.
0.10% administrative fee (0.04% waived commencing September 1, 2011) to the state plus distribution/servicing fees of 0.25% (Class A), 0.95% (Class B), 0.75% (Class C), 0.00% (Class O); 1.09% combined fee for the Cash Reserve option includes underlying fund expenses.
Ranges from 0.29% to 0.85% (portfolio weighted average) in the age-based and static multi-fund portfolios; 0.58% to 1.26% in the individual portfolios.
Class A: 0.64% - 1.60%
Class B: 1.09% - 2.30%
Class C: 1.09% - 2.10%
Class O: 1.09%
Cash Reserve Option: 1.09%
Note: Expenses are 0.04% less due to temporary state fee waiver.
Class A, B, C, O Cash Reserves Portfolio:
Initial sales charge: None
Dealer: 0.10% annual trail beginning immediately
Class A All other portfolios:
Initial sales charge: 3.5%
Dealer: 3% commission and 0.25% annual trail beginning immediately
Class B All other portfolios:
CDSC: 2.5% in year one declining to 0.5% in year five (none thereafter)
Dealer: 2.5% commission and 0.25% annual trail beginning immediately
Class C All other portfolios:
No sales charge or CDSC
Dealer: 1% commission and 0.75% annual trail beginning in month 13
Class O All other portfolios:
(This share class is available only through employer-sponsored Corporate Plans and qualifying fee-based registered investment advisers.)
No sales charge or CDSC
Dealer: 0.75% commission and 0.25% annual trail beginning immediately ("Fee only" investment advisers do not receive any compensation for the sale of Class O Units from the program or the manager, but instead are compensated directly by their clients.)
Class A sales load (dealer commission):
Less than $50,000 - 3.50% (3.00%) $50,000-$99,999 - 2.50% (2.00%) $100,000-$249,999 - 1.50% (1.25%) $250,000-$499,999 - 1.25% (1.00%) $500,000 or more - 0% (0.25%)(Paid by Legg Mason)
Taxes and other Benefits
The Matching Grant Program provides a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $500 in contributions for lower- to middle-income Colorado residents to accounts with an eligible beneficiary (a dependent under age 13 at the time of initial application). Applications are accepted each year between September 1 and December 31. The match can extend for a maximum five years. Matching grants for future years are subject to continued funding by the sponsor. The CollegeInvest 529 Scholarship provides a $2,000 scholarship to any full-time student who is a Colorado resident, has maintained or has had a parent/guardian maintain a CollegeInvest account for at least two years, and can substantiate an expected family contribution (EFC) of $25,000 or less. The scholarship is renewable each year up to a total of four years or $8,000. Applications are accepted January 1 through July 31.
Contributions to a Colorado 529 plan, to the extent of the contributor's Colorado taxable income, are deductible in computing Colorado taxable income. Rollover contributions are not eligible for the deduction.
Investment time horizon:
18 yrs (i.e. newborn): 0.20% annualized
10 yrs (i.e. 8-yr old): 0.36% annualized
2 yrs (i.e. 16-yr old): 1.82% annualized
Based on 4.63% CO tax rate. (For assumptions see 529 State Tax Calculator.)
The principal portion of rollovers and nonqualified withdrawals from this plan are included in Colorado taxable income to the extent of prior Colorado tax deductions. Nonqualified withdrawals for this purpose do not include withdrawals made as the result of the beneficiary's death or disability or withdrawals made on account of the beneficiary's receipt of a scholarship.
Qualified distributions from Colorado and non-Colorado 529 plans are exempt.
Colorado follows federal tax-free treatment except that outbound rollovers are subject to the recapture of prior state tax deductions.
Does participation in the program provide beneficiaries with any advantages in qualifying for resident tuition status at state institutions?
Under Colorado law, moneys credited to or expended from the Colorado savings trust fund by or on behalf of an account owner, depositor, or designated beneficiary of a savings contract are exempt from all claims of creditors of the account owner, depositor, and designated beneficiary.
Distributions & Terminations
Eligible educational institution, beneficiary, or account owner, as directed by the account owner
Accepts requests to transfer account ownership.
Documents, Access & Reporting