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Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan

The team of Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc. and The Vanguard Group manages the Colorado Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan. It features age-based and static portfolio options utilizing Vanguard mutual funds. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise rewards service.


  • Program typeSavings
  • Inception2004
  • State agency
    CollegeInvest, a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education
  • Tax deduction
    Tax deduction for single filers No limit
    Tax deduction for joint filers No limit
  • Program Manager
    Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc. and The Vanguard Group, Inc.
  • Program distributor
    Vanguard Marketing Corporation
  • Manager contract termUNLOCK PRO

Ratings & Rankings

Our overall rating for CO residents

This is a program that offers outstanding flexibility, attractive investments, and additional economic benefits (such as generous state tax incentives) that for some people, at least, will provide a substantial boost to their savings. There are few, if any, weaknesses noted in the program.

Our overall rating for non-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.

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.


3.50out of 5

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.

Eligibility

State residency requirements:

None

Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

U.S. citizens or resident aliens, trusts, 501(c)(3) organizations, and local governments.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:

None

Did you know?

  • CO residents can claim a tax deduction for contributions to a CO 529 plan.

    Contributions are deductible in computing state taxable income

  • 529 plan contributions grow tax-free.

    Withdrawals are tax-free when used to pay for qualified higher education expenses.

  • You can contribute as much as you want, as often as you want.

    The key is to get started. Enroll today by completing a quick form online.

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Contributions

Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Colorado's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $400,000.

Minimum contributions:

The minimum initial contribution is $25, and the minimum subsequent contribution is $15.

Investment Options

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 and 3 individual-fund portfolios.View more static investment options

Underlying investments:

Vanguard mutual funds.View a full list of this plan's investment options

Underlying fund allocations:

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Portfolio Fees & Performance Lookup

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Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:

None.

Account maintenance fee:

$20 for accounts with less than $10,000, waived for Colorado residents and for accounts opting to receive all documents electronically.

Program management fees:

0.34% manager fee; fee includes underlying fund expenses and a 0.06% fee to the state.
CollegeInvest may charge an administrative fee of up to 0.10%. CollegeInvest will periodically reevaluate the 0.06% administrative fee rate and raise or lower it not to exceed 0.10%.

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Not applicable, included in the program management fee.

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0.34%

Taxes and other Benefits

  • Tax deduction for single filersNo limit
  • Tax deduction for joint filersNo limit

Example

Married filing jointly residents contributing $100/month can expect an additional $0 a year in tax savings.

Program match on contributions:

The Matching Grant Program provides a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $400 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) between $5,000 and $25,000. The scholarship is renewable each year up to a total of four years or $8,000. Applications are accepted January 1 through May 15.

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.

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?

Yes, the Upromise Rewards program can be linked to any 529 college savings plan. Upromise Rewards is free to join and offers members cash back for college.

Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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Did you know?

  • Residents are not limited to investing in their own state's 529 plan.

    Another state may offer a plan that performs better and has lower fees.

  • The 529 plan chosen does not affect which state the student enrolls in.

    You can live in New York, open a plan from Nevada and send a student to college in Florida.

  • The best way to maximize your college savings?

    Start early and save often. You can get started today with easy online enrollment.

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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

Telephone:

1-800-997-4295

Start saving for your child's future today


Step 1

Click the blue Enroll Now button to the right

Step 2

Complete the online application and make your first deposit

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