DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold)

District of Columbia

The DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold), available on a direct basis only to those who meet certain District of Columbia residency requirements, features a menu of age-based and static portfolio options primarily utilizing Calvert mutual funds. The program is available nationally through advisors at higher cost.

5-Cap Rating


In Savingforcollege.com's latest quarterly rankings, this plan ranked in the top 10 for 1-year, 3-year, 5-year and/or 10-year performance.

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
5.11 2.92 2.50 2.60 0.35


Program type:


How to enroll:

Enroll directly with the program.

Initial year of operation:


State agency(ies):

District of Columbia College Savings Program Trust

Program manager:

Calvert Investment Management, Inc.

Program distributor:

Calvert Investment Distributors, Inc.

Manager contract term:

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State residency requirements:

The account owner must be a District of Columbia resident at the time of enrollment or work for a firm with over 300 employees that has payroll deduction for the DC College Savings Plan.

Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

U.S. citizens and resident aliens of legal age, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:



Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in the District of Columbia's 529 plan for the same beneficiary reach $260,000.

Minimum contributions:

With lump-sum contributions, the minimum initial contribution is $100, and the minimum subsequent contribution is $25. With the automatic investment plan, the minimum contribution level is $25 per month via bank transfer or $15 per pay period via payroll deduction.

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

The Age-Based Option contains 5 portfolios of underlying funds. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the beneficiary's age or as selected by the account owner, and later reassigned to more conservative portfolios as the beneficiary approaches college age. Account owners have the option to freeze the account at any particular portfolio.

Static investment options:

Select among 6 individual-fund portfolios (Income, Balanced, Equity Index, U.S. Large Cap Equity, U.S. Small Cap Equity, and International Equity), and the Stability of Principal Investment Option.

Underlying investments:

Calvert and State Street mutual funds. The Stability of Principal Option consists of a funding agreement with Ameritas Life Insurance Company which guarantees principal and a minimum 3% annual rate of interest to the Trust.

Underlying fund allocations:

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Portfolio Fees & Performance Lookup

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See Investment Options

Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:

None for D.C. residents, $25 for non-D.C. residents.

Account maintenance fee:

$30, reduced to $15 for DC residents.

Program management fees:

0.15% management fee, including 0.05% administrative fee to D.C.

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Ranges from 0.48% to 1.02% (portfolio weighted average) in the age-based portfolios, 1.17% to 1.66% in the individual-fund portfolios, and 0.31% in the State Street Equity Index portfolio. None for the Ameritas Principal Plus portfolio.

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0.46% - 1.81%
Principal Plus option: 0.15%

Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:


State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Contributions to the District of Columbia 529 plan of up to $4,000 per year by an individual, and up to $8,000 per year by married taxpayers who each make contributions to their own account, are deductible in computing District of Columbia taxable income, with a five-year carryforward of excess contributions. Only contributions made by the account owner are deductible. Rollover contributions are not deductible. Contribution deadline is December 31 postmark.

State tax recapture provisions:

The principal portion of nonqualified withdrawals from this plan, and rollovers within two years of account opening, are included in District of Columbia taxable income to the extent of prior District of Columbia tax deductions. Nonqualified withdrawals for this purpose do not include withdrawals made as the result of the beneficiary's death or disability and withdrawals made on account of the beneficiary's receipt of a scholarship.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

Qualified distributions from District of Columbia and non-DC 529 plans are exempt.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

District of Columbia follows federal tax-free treatment except that outbound rollovers within two years of establishing the account are subject to the recapture of prior D.C. tax deductions.

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


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


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


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?


Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?

D.C. residents who opt to use automatic deduction from a bank account may enroll online.

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

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Web site:

Click here to visit


1-800-987-4859 (DC residents); 1-800-368-2745 (non-residents)

State News


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