General InformationDownload PDF Report
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.
- 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
- Manager contract termUNLOCK PRO
Ratings & Rankings
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:None
Who can be a participant/owner in the program?U.S. citizens and resident aliens 18 years old or older, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:None
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:
Maximum contributions:Accepts contributions until all account balances in Arkansas' 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $366,000.
Minimum contributions:With lump-sum contributions, the minimum initial contribution is $25, and the minimum subsequent contribution is $10. With the automatic investment plan, the minimum contribution level is $10 per month or $30 per quarter via bank transfer or $5 per pay period via payroll deduction.
Age-based investment options:The Age-Based option is offered in 3 different risk levels (Aggressive, Moderate, and Conservative) each containing 9 portfolios of underlying mutual funds. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the risk level selected and the number of years to expected enrollment, and later reassigned to more conservative portfolios as the beneficiary approaches college age.View more age-based investment options
Static investment options:Select among 5 multi-fund portfolios with varying risk tolerances, a money-market portfolio, and an FDIC-insured savings option.View more static investment options
Underlying investments:Vanguard mutual funds, Sallie MaeView a full list of this plan's investment options
Underlying fund allocations:UNLOCK PRO
Portfolio Fees & Performance LookupUNLOCK PRO
Fees & Expenses
Enrollment or application fee:None.
Account maintenance fee:$20 annually, waived for Arkansas residents.
Program management fees:0.48% manager fee; fee includes underlying fund expenses and a 0.07% fee to the state; 0.32% for the Savings Portfolio
Expenses of the underlying investments:Not applicable, included in the program management fee.
Total asset-based expense ratio:0.53%; 0.39% for the Savings option
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.