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Private College 529 Plan

Formerly known as Independent 529 Plan, the Private College 529 Plan is the only private-college-run 529 plan in the country, this prepayment program allows families to lock in tuition at any of nearly 300 participating private colleges.

Our Ratingx

4 of 5

Fee Scorex

4 of 5



  • Program typeInstitutional prepaid contract
  • Enrollment periodOpen year-round
  • Inception2003
  • State agency
    This is not a state-sponsored program. The sponsor is Tuition Plan Consortium LLC, a non-profit membership organization comprised of participating colleges and universities.
  • Tax deduction
    Tax deduction for single filers None
    Tax deduction for joint filers None

Ratings & Rankings

Our overall rating for OTHER 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 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.'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.

Financial Benefits









State residency requirements:


Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

Individuals at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:

A minimum of 36 months must lapse between the initial purchase date of a Tuition Certificate and its first redemption. A Tuition Certificate must be used by the 30th anniversary of its purchase or it will be cancelled for the refund amount. A refund may be requested only after 12 months have expired since the initial purchase date.

Did you know?

  • 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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Maximum contributions:


Minimum contributions:


Contractual Features

Contract prices:

Ranges from a minimum of $25 to as much as the cost of five years of undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees at the highest-cost participating institution ($285,030 for the 2018-19 year). An automatic contribution plan is available.

Available tuition packages:

A Tuition Certificate is issued for each program year based on all payments made for the beneficiary during that program year. Total Tuition Certificates may not exceed five years of undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees at a participating institution. Tuition Certificates may be redeemed for a pre-determined percentage of tuition at any of nearly 300 participating institutions. The particular college to be attended does not have to be identified at the time of certificate purchase. Private College 529 Plan continually recruits new colleges into the program, and any college coming in must agree to accept Tuition Certificates from existing participants.

Benefits for beneficiary attending private or out-of-state institution:

Refunds for any reason (including attendance at a non-participating institution) provides a return of contributions adjusted by program fund investment performance not to exceed plus-or-minus 2% annualized.

Contract payment options:

Lump sum, automatic bank transfers, or payroll deduction.

Are program benefits backed by the full faith and credit of the state?

N/A, not a state-sponsored program; however, each participating institution makes a binding commitment to accept Tuition Certificates in payment of tuition and mandatory fees. Payments received by the program are pooled in a trust fund with investments managed by OFI Private Investments, Inc.

Are program benefits collateralized or guaranteed in any other way?


Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:


Taxes and other Benefits

  • Tax deduction for single filersNone
  • Tax deduction for joint filersNone


State tax not applicable. Not a state-sponsored program

Program match on contributions:


State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Not applicable.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

Not applicable. Not a state-sponsored program.

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

Not applicable. Not a state-sponsored program

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?

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.

Upromise Helps Families Save for College

Upromise Helps Families Save for College

Statutory protection of an account from creditors:


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 or account owner; qualified distributions to account owner require substantiating documentation.

Account Changes

Policy regarding participant/owner changes:

Ownership may not be transferred except in the case of an involuntary transfer such as death.






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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