Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal) NEW! PDF ReportPRO


The Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal) is managed by Ascensus College Savings and offers 10 investment options: three age-based options, six fixed portfolios using Vanguard mutual funds, and a Savings Portfolio invested in the Sallie Mae High-Yield Savings Account. 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
3.29 2.56 3.81 4.06 0.40

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Access enrollment materials and open an account with Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal) in just a few easy steps.


Program type:


How to enroll:

Enroll directly with the program.

Initial year of operation:

2001, but substantially changed in December 2007

State agency(ies):

Idaho College Savings Program Board

Program manager:

Ascensus College Savings

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

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:



Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Idaho's 529 plan for the same beneficiary reach $500,000.

Minimum contributions:

$25, or $15 per pay period via payroll deduction.

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

The Age-Based option is offered in 3 different risk levels (Aggressive, Moderate, and Conservative) each containing 8 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.

Static investment options:

Select among 5 multi-fund portfolios, with varying risk tolerances, an interest accumulation portfolio and a savings portfolio.

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 unless either the account owner or beneficiary is a resident of Idaho.

Program management fees:

0.50% program manager fee; 0.34% for Savings Portfolio; fee includes underlying fund expenses and the 0.05% administrative fee to the state

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Not applicable, included in the program manager fee.

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0.50%; 0.34% for the Savings Portfolio

Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:


State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Contributions to the Idaho 529 plan of up to $6,000 per year by an individual, and up to $12,000 per year by a married couple filing jointly, are deductible in computing Idaho taxable income.

State tax recapture provisions:

The entire amount of non-qualified distributions must be included in Idaho taxable income. Outbound rollovers by Idaho taxpayers must be included in Idaho taxable income to the extent of amounts deducted on the Idaho return for the current year and for the prior year, effective January 1, 2008.

State definition of qualified expenses

The state conforms with the federal definition of qualified education expenses, which includes expenses for higher education, as well as up to $10,000 per year in tuition in connection with enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

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

State tax treatment of rollovers:

Outbound rollovers by Idaho taxpayers must be included in Idaho taxable income to the extent of contributions made during the 12 months prior to the rollover, effective January 1, 2008.

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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