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529 PLANS

Smart Choice College Savings Plan

Colorado

Colorado's Smart Choice College Savings Plan offers two FDIC-insured options through FirstBank: a one-year time savings account and a money market savings account.

5-Cap Rating

Resident:
Non-Resident:

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)

Performance Costs Features Reliability Resident Upgrade
3.00 N/A 2.97 3.20 0.70

General

Program type:

Savings

How to enroll:

Enroll directly with the program.

Initial year of operation:

2009

State agency(ies):

CollegeInvest, a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education

Program manager:

FirstBank Holding Company

Program distributor:

FirstBank through its individually chartered banks.

Manager contract term:

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Eligibility

State residency requirements:

None

Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

U.S. citizens and resident aliens including UGMA/UTMA custodians.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:

None, except the One-Year Time Savings Account option is subject to early withdrawal penalties.

Contributions

Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Colorado's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $350,000.

Minimum contributions:

No minimum.

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

None.

Static investment options:

There are 2 options. The Money Market Savings Account earns interest at a rate established by FirstBank not less than the interest rate publicly offered by FirstBank on its regular Money Market Savings Accounts less 0.10%. The One-Year Time Savings Account earns interest at a rate that is 0.10% less than the rate publicly offered by FirstBank for its regular One-Year Times Savings Accounts, subject to an early withdrawal penalty of 90 days of interest if withdrawn before the one-year maturity date.

Underlying investments:

FDIC-insured bank deposit accounts with FirstBank. FDIC insurance is subject to limitations.

Underlying fund allocations:

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Investment performance link:

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Portfolio Fees & Performance Lookup

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Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:

None.

Account maintenance fee:

None.

Program management fees:

None. (FirstBank pays Colorado CollegeInvest an administrative fee of 0.10% of assets.)

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Not applicable.

Total asset-based expense ratio:

None.

Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:

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.

State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

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.

Value of in-state tax benefits:

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State tax recapture provisions:

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.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

Qualified distributions from Colorado and non-Colorado 529 plans are exempt.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

Colorado follows federal tax-free treatment except that outbound rollovers are subject to the recapture of prior state tax deductions.

Does the sponsoring state exclude the value of an account for state financial aid purposes?

No

Does participation in the program provide beneficiaries with any advantages in qualifying for resident tuition status at state institutions?

No

Does the program have a formal agreement with a rewards program or outside scholarship program?

No

Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Eligible educational institution, beneficiary, or account owner, as directed by the account owner.

Account Changes

Policy regarding participant/owner changes:

Accepts requests to transfer account ownership.

Documents, Access & Reporting

Does participant have online password-protected access to account?

Yes

Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?

Yes

Documents and other services accessible or downloadable on the program's public Web site:

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Contact

Web site:

Click here to visit

Telephone:

1-800-964-3444

Twitter

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