Hawaii's College Savings Program NEW! PDF ReportPRO


Hawaii's College Savings Program switched program managers in November 2007 from Delaware Investments to Upromise Investments, Inc., which was acquired by Ascensus College Savings in 2013. The program uses Vanguard Funds in its age-based option, four multi-fund fixed options, and two individual-fund options. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise rewards service.

5-Cap Rating


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. (Scale 0 to 5; 5 is highest)

Performance Costs Features Reliability Resident Upgrade
2.82 0.94 2.53 3.00 0.03

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Program type:


How to enroll:

Enroll directly with the program.
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Initial year of operation:

2002, but substantially changed in November 2007

State agency(ies):

Hawaii Department of Budget and Finance and its Director of Finance

Program manager:

Ascensus College Savings, with The Vanguard Group as investment manager

Program distributor:

Ascensus College Savings

Manager contract term:

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State residency requirements:


Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

U.S. citizens and resident aliens of legal age, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:



Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Hawaii's 529 plan for the same beneficiary reach $305,000.

Minimum contributions:


Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

The Age-Based Option contains 4 portfolios of underlying investment strategies. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the beneficiary's age, and later reassigned to more conservative portfolios as the beneficiary approaches college age.

Static investment options:

Select among 4 multi-fund portfolios (Growth, Moderate Growth, Conservative Growth, and Income) and 2 individual-fund portfolios (Total Stock Market Index and Money Market).

Underlying investments:

Vanguard mutual funds.

Underlying fund allocations:

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Portfolio Fees & Performance Lookup

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See Investment Options

Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:


Account maintenance fee:

$20 annually; $10 for account owners who are Hawaii residents.

Program management fees:

0.75% manager fee; fee includes underlying fund expenses.

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Not applicable, included in the program manager fee.

Total asset-based expense ratio:


Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:


State tax deduction or credit for contributions:


State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

Qualified distributions from Hawaii and non-Hawaii 529 plans are exempt.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

Hawaii follows federal tax-free treatment.

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?

Yes, with Upromise. The Upromise Rewards service is free to join and offers cash back for college.

Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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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?


Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?


Documents and other services accessible or downloadable on the program's public Web site:

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