GIFT College Investing Plan
The team of Ascensus College Savings and The Vanguard Group manages the Arkansas' GIFT College Investing Plan, featuring age-based and static portfolio options utilizing Vanguard mutual funds, and an FDIC-insured savings option. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise rewards service.
3.5 of 5
3.5 of 5
3 of 5
- Program typeSavings
- Inception1999, but substantially changed in February 2005
- State agencyThe Arkansas 529 Plan Review Committee, composed of the Director of the Department of Higher Education, the Executive Director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, and the Arkansas State Treasurer
- Tax deduction
- Program ManagerAscensus College Savings, with The Vanguard Group as investment manager
- Program distributorAscensus College Savings
Ratings & Rankings
Our overall rating for AR residents
This is an excellent program with many benefits for the participant and positive investment attributes. If it has any significant weaknesses then it also has some particularly good things to recommend it.
Our overall rating for non-residents
This is a very good program that offers valuable benefits but may have some limitations or concerns that investors need to know.
Each plan's performance score is developed directly from Savingforcollege.com's Quarterly 529 Performance Rankings. A 529 savings plan must have at least one year of performance history before they will be assigned a 5-cap rating. For those plans that are not part of our quarterly performance rankings, such as plans offering a single set of bank-based investment options, we assign a performance score by evaluating the returns currently available on similar types of investments outside of 529 plans.
State residency requirements:
Who can be a participant/owner in the program?
Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:
Alternative 529 Plans
Other great plans to consider
You are not limited to opening your own state's 529 plan, so shop around. Here are some highly rated options to consider:
Age-based investment options:View more age-based investment options
Static investment options:View more static investment options
Underlying investments:View a full list of this plan's investment options
Underlying fund allocations:
Portfolio Fees & Performance Lookup
Fees & Expenses
Enrollment or application fee:
Account maintenance fee:
Program management fees:
Expenses of the underlying investments:
Total asset-based expense ratio:
Taxes and other Benefits
- Tax deduction for single filers$5,000/yr
- Tax deduction for joint filers$10,000/yr
Married filing jointly residents contributing $100/month can expect an additional $0 a year in tax savings.
Program match on contributions:
State tax deduction or credit for contributions:
State tax recapture provisions:
State definition of qualified expenses
State tax treatment of qualified distributions:
State tax treatment of rollovers:
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?
Upromise Helps Families Save for College
Statutory protection of an account from creditors:
Distributions & Terminations
To whom are distributions made payable:
Policy regarding participant/owner changes:
Documents, Access & Reporting
Does participant have online password-protected access to account?
Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?
Documents and other services accessible or downloadable on the program's public Web site:
Arkansas passes new laws to help college savers (04/17/2017)
Arkansas launches 529 GIFT Plan smartphone app (08/09/2018)