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Wisconsin's Edvest is a direct-sold 529 college savings plan available to residents of any state, and offers low minimums and a variety of investment options from TIAA-CREF, T. Rowe Price and others. Wisconsin residents may enjoy a state tax deduction for contributions to the plan.

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
4.49 4.99 3.85 4.70 0.40

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Program type:


How to enroll:

Enroll directly with the program.

Initial year of operation:

1997, but substantially changed in 2012

State agency(ies):

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions

Program manager:

TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc.

Program distributor:

TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC

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 Wisconsin's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $472,000.

Minimum contributions:

$25 per investment option, or $15 per investment option with the automatic contribution plan.

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

The Age-Based Option is offered in 2 different risk levels, each containing 9 portfolios of underlying mutual funds. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the number of years to expected enrollment, and later reassigned to more conservative portfolios as the beneficiary approaches college enrollment.

Static investment options:

Select among 3 index-based multi-fund portfolios (Aggressive, Moderate, Conservative), 3 active-based multi-fund portfolios (Aggressive, Moderate, Conservative), two additional multi-fund portfolios, 5 individual-fund portfolios, a bank CD Portfolio and a principal plus interest portfolio that guarantees an annual interest rate of 1% - 3%.

Underlying investments:

Mutual funds managed by TIAA-CREF, DFA, MetWest, T. Rowe Price and Franklin Templeton.

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:

0.08% management fee. The state administrative fee of 0.10% is currently being waived. The management and state fees do not apply to the Principal Plus Interest Portfolio.

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Ranges from 0.07% to 0.33% (portfolio weighted average) in the age-based and static multi-fund portfolios, 0.06% to 0.19% in the individual-fund portfolios (N/A for the Principal Plus Interest Portfolio). The CD option has no underlying expense beyond the management and state administration fee.

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0.08% - 0.41%

Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:


State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Contributions to a Wisconsin 529 plan of up to $3,200 per beneficiary per year (any filing status) are deductible in computing Wisconsin taxable income. The maximum annual deductible will be increased annually to reflect inflation. Contributions in excess of the maximum annual limit may be carried forward to one or more future years and deducted up to the then annual maximum deductible amount each year until all amounts invested have been deducted from Wisconsin taxable income. Incoming rollovers from other states' 529 plans are accepted. Beginning with the 2015 tax year, the portion that is principal or contributions may qualify for reducing Wisconsin taxable income, including carry-forward for subsequent years; the portion attributed to growth is not eligible. Amounts that received an earlier Wisconsin reduction are not eligible. Contributors do not need to be the account owner to claim the deduction. Any Wisconsin taxpayer may claim a deduction for contributions to any account. Contribution deadline is April 15 of the year following the tax year. Parents no longer need to claim their child as a dependent in order to claim the deduction; however, the maximum deduction is reduced to $1,600 for a parent who is married and filing separately or who is divorced, unless the divorce judgment specified a different division of the $3,200 combined maximum.

State tax recapture provisions:

Non-qualified withdrawals & rollovers to other 529 plans must be added back to Wisconsin taxable income unless eligible for the federal non-qualified withdrawal penalty waiver: death or disability of the beneficiary or withdrawals equal to the amount of a scholarship award in such period of such award. Withdrawals taken within 365 days of a contribution must be added back to WI taxable income if previously deducted and the account balance was less than the withdrawal amount prior to the contribution.

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 Wisconsin and non-Wisconsin 529 plans are exempt. Under Wisconsin law, a beneficiary's right to qualified withdrawals from a Wisconsin 529 plan is not subject to garnishment, attachment, execution, or other process of law.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

Wisconsin 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?


Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Account owner, beneficiary, eligible educational institution, or other third party, as directed by 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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