General InformationDownload PDF Report
Smart Choice College Savings Plan
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.
- Program typeSavings
- State agencyCollegeInvest, a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education
- Tax deduction
- Program ManagerFirstBank Holding Company
- Program distributorFirstBank through its individually chartered banks.
- 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 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.
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 Colorado's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $400,000.
Minimum contributions:No minimum.
Age-based investment options:None.View more age-based investment options
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for its regular One-Year Times Savings Accounts, subject to an early withdrawal penalty of 90 days of interest if withdrawn before the one-year maturity date.View more static investment options
Underlying investments:FDIC-insured bank deposit accounts with FirstBank. FDIC insurance is subject to limitations.View 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: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
- Tax deduction for single filersNo limit
- Tax deduction for joint filersNo limit
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 $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.
The Working Families College Savings Act offers a Colorado tax credit for employers who make contributions to CollegeInvest savings plans owned by their employees. The available tax credit is 20% of the amount contributed to a CollegeInvest 529 account, up to $2,500 per employee.