College Savings Iowa NEW! PDF ReportPRO


College Savings Iowa is a direct-sold 529 college savings plan available to residents of any state offering low fees and 14 investment options from Vanguard. Iowa residents may enjoy a state tax deduction for contributions to the plan.

5-Cap Rating


In Savingforcollege.com's latest quarterly rankings, this plan ranked in the top 10 for 1-year, 3-year, 5-year and/or 10-year performance.

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
3.65 4.53 3.13 4.10 0.40

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Program type:


How to enroll:

Enroll directly with the program.
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Initial year of operation:


State agency(ies):

State Treasurer of Iowa

Program manager:

State Treasurer of Iowa, Ascensus College Savings, and The Vanguard Group

Program distributor:

State Treasurer of Iowa and Vanguard Marketing Group

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, and UGMA/UTMA custodians.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:



Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Iowa's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $420,000.

Minimum contributions:

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

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

The Age-Based option is offered in 4 different risk levels (Aggressive, Growth, Moderate Growth and Conservative Growth) each containing nine portfolios of underlying mutual funds. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the risk level selected and the age of the beneficiary, and later reassigned to more conservative portfolios as the beneficiary approaches college age.

Static investment options:

Select among 11 multi-fund portfolios (Aggressive Growth, Growth, Moderate Growth, Conservative Growth, Income, and Conservative Income) and 4 individual-fund portfolios.

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:


Program management fees:

0.20% manager fee; fee includes underlying fund expenses.

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Not applicable, included in the program management fee.

Total asset-based expense ratio:


Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:


State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Contributions to an Iowa 529 plan of up to $3,319 for 2018 per beneficiary by an individual, and up to $6,638 per beneficiary by married taxpayers filing jointly who each make their own contributions, are deductible in computing Iowa taxable income. The maximum deduction increases each year with inflation. Only contributions made by the account owner are deductible. Contribution deadline is December 31 postmark. Iowa residents may elect to treat contributions made through the deadline (excluding extensions) for filing an individual Iowa state income tax return (generally April 30) as having been made in the prior year in order to claim the allowable annual deduction on their Iowa state tax return for the prior year.

State tax recapture provisions:

The principal portion of rollovers and nonqualified withdrawals from this plan are included in Iowa taxable income to the extent of prior Iowa tax deductions.

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. For Iowa state income tax purposes, a withdrawal for payment of K--12 Tuition Expenses at a K--12 school which is not located in Iowa or which is not accredited under Iowa Code Section 256.11 or does not adhere to the provisions of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Iowa Code Chapter 216 will be treated as a nonqualified withdrawal and taxed as income to the extent previously deducted as a contribution to College Savings Iowa.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

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

State tax treatment of rollovers:

Iowa 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?


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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