Private College 529

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Plan Basics
Participating Schools
Tax Considerations
Plan Requirements
Account Management
Other Considerations

PLAN BASICS [back to top]

What is Private College 529 Plan?

Private College 529 Plan is the only national 529 prepaid plan for private colleges.

The Plan delivers significant savings on the cost of a private college education because you get tomorrow's tuition at today's prices for any school in our national network of colleges and universities. Your tuition certificates retain their value for 30 years from the date of purchase, no matter how much the cost of tuition rises or what happens in the financial markets.

Private College 529 Plan offers the same federal tax benefits as any 529 prepaid tuition plan or state-sponsored 529 college savings plan and does not charge enrollment or annual fees.

How does Private College 529 Plan compare to other college savings plans?

Private College 529 Plan is the only savings vehicle specifically tailored to help make private college affordable for American families. Compare the Plan to other college savings options.

Who sponsors Private College 529 Plan?

More than 270 private colleges across the nation have joined Tuition Plan Consortium (TPC), the not for profit group that sponsors Private College 529 Plan. The Plan is the only private-college-sponsored, national prepaid 529 plan.

Who is the Plan's Program Manager?

Private College 529 Plan is administered by OFI Private Investments Inc., a subsidiary of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. OppenheimerFunds, Inc. is one of the nation's largest and most respected investment management companies. The products and services of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. and its subsidiaries include mutual funds, qualified retirement plans for individuals and corporations, 529 college savings plans, investment management for institutions and subadvisory services.

OFI Trust Company, a qualified trustee, holds the program assets.

Are tuition certificates guaranteed?

Yes, the member colleges and universities guarantee your tuition at the pre-purchased rate for 30 years from the date of purchase.

Tuition and fees at each member college are different, so what are my contributions actually purchasing?

You are purchasing tuition certificates that are redeemable for future tuition or a percentage of future tuition at any of the participating private colleges. The percentage will vary for each school based on the tuition rates at the time your certificates are purchased. For example, a tuition certificate purchased for $10,000 today may be worth 0.3 years of tuition at one school but 0.45 years at another.

How may Private College 529 Plan affect eligibility for financial aid?

Private College 529 Plan accounts owned by the parent are treated as assets of the parent just like other 529 plans. This means a smaller impact on financial aid than if the assets were those of the child. The federal financial aid formula considers no more than 5.6% of parents' assets and 20% of a child's assets available to pay for college.

What if my child attends a non-member college or doesn't attend college at all?

Additional colleges are joining Private College 529 Plan all the time. However, if your child goes to a college or university that does not participate in Private College 529 Plan, you have options:

  • Leave the account open—Your account can stay open for up to 30 years from the time you enroll in the Plan
  • Change the beneficiary—You can change your beneficiary (child) at any time. You can select a qualified family member or even choose yourself
  • Roll the account into a state-sponsored 529 plan
  • Obtain a refund1-You will retain all the tax benefits for the withdrawal portion if used for qualified higher education expenses

How will I be kept informed about my progress in Private College 529 Plan?

When you open your Private College 529 Plan account, you'll have the opportunity to select up to five “sample” participating colleges and universities to monitor. Each quarter you will receive a statement that displays the value of your account so that you can see what percentage of tuition you have purchased, using your sample colleges as examples. Track or change your “sample” schools as often as you like online.

To update your list of “sample schools”:

  1. Register online to create a user ID and password.
  2. Click on “Sample Schools” in the left hand menu.
  3. Select an account.
  4. Search for new schools by state.

To view the amount of tuition you've purchased for each “sample” school:

  1. Click on “Account Summary” in the left hand menu.
  2. Select an account.
  3. Click on “Tuition Purchased” to view how much tuition you've prepaid for each “sample” school or “Certificates Purchased” for tuition certificate information.

Choosing “sample” schools neither guarantees admission for your beneficiary (child) nor locks you into any decision about which school your child will attend.


PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS [back to top]

Who are the participating colleges?

Private College 529 Plan includes more than 270 private colleges and universities to fit the talents and interests of any student. Participating schools span the country and include science & engineering schools, traditional liberal arts colleges, historically black colleges, religiously affiliated colleges, research universities and women's colleges—with more schools joining all the time.

Do I have to choose a specific college when I purchase a certificate?

No. Tuition certificates purchased today can be used at any current or future participating school, as long as a student is accepted for admission and enrolls. Participation in the Plan does not guarantee admission to any college or university, nor does it affect the admissions process in any way.

When you enroll in Private College 529 Plan, you can select up to five “sample” schools to monitor. Your selections can be changed at any time, so you can view the tuition value you've purchased at any participating institution in the Plan. Quarterly statements will display exactly what percentage of tuition you have purchased for each sample school to help you track your progress. For example, a tuition certificate purchased for $10,000 today may be worth 0.30 years of tuition at one school but 0.45 years at another.

Will there be more private college and universities to choose from by the time my child goes to college?

Today, there are more than 270 participating schools and the list keeps growing. Tuition certificates purchased today can be used at any school that joins later, provided the beneficiary (child) is admitted.

Don't see your alma mater or favorite private college? Tell us! Or contact a college's alumni or admissions office and let us know that you have contacted them so that we may follow up.

Can the private college I'm interested in end its participation in Private College 529 Plan? If so, what happens?

If a college or university should ever withdraw from Private College 529 Plan, it would still be obligated to honor all tuition certificates that were purchased prior to its withdrawal. However, certificates purchased after its withdrawal will not be honored by that specific school.

How do I know that a college will honor my tuition certificates?

Participating colleges and universities have entered into contracts with TPC to guarantee your tuition certificates—no matter how much tuition rises or what happens in the financial markets—for up to 30 years.2

How can I be sure my child is accepted at one of these colleges?

Participation in Private College 529 Plan does not guarantee admission to any college or university, nor does it affect the admissions process in any way. If your child is not accepted at any participating college, you can select from the following options:


TAX CONSIDERATIONS [back to top]

What are the estate planning and gift tax benefits?

Like other 529 plans, Private College 529 Plan offers you significant estate and gift tax benefits.

Parents, grandparents or even friends may contribute up to $14,000 ($28,000 for married couples) per child each year, or up to $70,000 ($140,000 for married couples), prorated over a five-year period, to an account. This gift can be made without incurring a federal gift tax. If you contribute more than $70,000 in one year, the excess would be a taxable gift in the year of contribution.

Contributions to 529 plans are excluded from an account owner's estate when taxes are assessed, even though the owner retains complete control of the account, making the Plan an attractive option for grandparents.3

The Plan also features high contribution limits. For the 2012–2013 program year, the maximum lifetime contribution limit is $231,350. This amount would cover the cost of tuition for five years (for a newborn) at the highest priced participating institution in the program today.

What if my child gets a full or partial scholarship? What happens to my Private College 529 Plan funds?

If the beneficiary receives a partial scholarship, you can still use your certificates to cover the remaining tuition costs.

If the beneficiary receives a scholarship that covers all or part of the cost of qualified higher education expenses, you can withdraw an amount up to the value of the scholarship without penalty or additional tax. Earnings that are refunded due to a scholarship are taxable income but are not subject to the 10% additional federal tax on earnings. You can also change the beneficiary to another qualified family member or even yourself.

What if I have only saved part of the tuition required? What if I have saved more than is needed? What are my options?

Most families—whether they are Private College 529 Plan account owners or saving with another 529 plan—don't have the entire cost of tuition and mandatory fees covered by the time their child heads off to college. That's why we encourage all families to consider financial aid and scholarship options as a way to help fund the rest. Our Financial Aid Planner calculator can help you estimate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which represents the amount colleges may expect you and your child to pay for a year of college. This estimate is usually seen as the starting point for financial aid decisions at any college that offers federal financial aid. For more information and tips on getting financial aid and scholarships, visit collegewithinreach.com

If the value of your certificate(s) is more than the full amount of tuition and mandatory fees, you will have options:

What is the refund policy?

You may request a full or partial refund from the tuition certificate(s) you‘ve purchased. Certificates must be open for 12 calendar months. The refund will be based on the net performance of the Program Trust, subject to a maximum increase of 2% per year, and a maximum loss of 2% per year.

As with any 529 program, if you do not use the money for qualified higher education expenses, any increase in the value of your initial purchase amounts (the difference between your contribution amount and the amount refunded) will be subject to federal income tax as well as an additional 10% tax.

See Disclosure Statement for details.


PLAN REQUIREMENTS [back to top]

Who can participate in Private College 529 Plan?

If you are an adult U.S. citizen who wants to help fund the private college education of a child, grandchild, loved one or even yourself, you can participate. There are no income limits for participation.

And with Private College 529 Plan's built-in flexibility, you can open an account for a named beneficiary (child) or in the name of a trust, estate or business for a scholarship for unnamed beneficiaries.

What can Private College 529 Plan tuition certificates be used for?

Currently, Private College 529 Plan tuition certificates can be used for undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees. In general, mandatory fees are those fees required to be paid by all students attending the particular college as a condition of enrollment.

Mandatory fees, however, do not include the cost of books, supplies nor room and board.

Are there any fees associated with the Plan?

No. There are no entry fees, annual fees, service fees or exit fees if tuition certificates are redeemed to pay for tuition and mandatory fees at participating schools.

For refund requests your refund amount will be adjusted based on the net performance of the Program Trust, subject to a maximum increase of 2% per year, and a maximum loss of 2% per year. The Refund Amount will be paid from the Program Trust only, and no other person, including the Program Manager, TPC or any Participating Institution, will be liable for any payments, including those that are greater than the amounts in the Program Trust.

As with any 529 program, if you do not use the money for qualified higher education expenses, any increase in the value of your initial purchase amounts (the difference between your contribution amount and the amount refunded) will be subject to federal income tax as well as an additional 10% tax.

How quickly can a certificate be redeemed?

A certificate must be held a minimum of 36 months before it can be redeemed for tuition.

How much can I contribute to Private College 529 Plan?

You can set up an automatic contribution plan and contribute as little as $25 a month, as long as a minimum of $500 is accumulated within two years of initiating automatic contributions. The maximum contribution per beneficiary (child) changes annually and is equal to the cost of 5 years of full-time tuition at the most expensive member college for a newborn. For the 2012–2013 program year, that amount is $231,350.

Can I pool money in one account and then draw on funds as needed for different children in my family? Do I need more than one account?

By law, 529 accounts can only have one beneficiary. You may want to open an account for each beneficiary, or open an account for one beneficiary, and then transfer all or part or your tuition certificates to another beneficiary (child) at a later date.


ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT [back to top]

How can I contribute to my Account?

You can contribute online at any time. Log into your Private College 529 Plan account. Be sure to have your bank account information handy.

Alternatively, you can use the Account Contributions form to establish, change or delete an automatic purchase plan.

How can I make changes to my account?

You can use the account maintenance features at My Account to:

  • Change your address
  • Change beneficiary's expected enrollment year
  • Add or change the sample schools you track
  • Add, change or delete bank account information
  • Establish, change or delete automatic purchase plan

Alternatively, you can use the Account Maintenance form to perform any of these actions.

How can I make a gift contribution to a child's Private College 529 Plan account?

Complete the Contribution Coupon and send it, along with a bank check made payable to Private College 529 Plan, to the address on the form. Contributions must be $25 or more per account.

Then, download and print a gift certificate, Gifting Acknowledgment, add a personal message and present it to your child or a loved one.

Can I invite others to contribute to my child's Private College 529 Plan account?

Invitations to family and friends can be sent by email. The email will include an online contribution form.

  • Log into your Private College 529 Plan account and go to Invite Family/Friends to Contribute
  • Add the names and email addresses of those you want to invite
  • Write a quick note or choose from our list of messages

Family and friends may choose to contribute online or to mail the personalized contribution form included in the email along with a payment to Private College 529 Plan.

How do I redeem a tuition certificate?

The redemption process is easy.

  • Download and complete the redemption form—including the amount of tuition and mandatory fees to be paid
  • Send your completed Tuition Certificate Redemption request form or Tuition Certificate Refund request form by mail to Private College 529 Plan P.O. Box 5268 Denver Co. 80217 or fax the completed form to 303-768-6529


    Private College 529 Plan
    P.O. Box 5268
    Denver, CO 80217
    1.888.718.7878

  • Receive a mailed confirmation notice from OFI Private Investments Inc.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS [back to top]

What is a 529 Plan?

529 refers to Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. 529 plans are tax-advantaged programs that help families save for college. These state sponsored plans have no income or age limit for participation. You can even open an account for yourself.

There are two types of 529 plans:

529 college savings plans—The 529 college savings plan is somewhat similar to a 401(K) or IRA. It allows you to invest your contributions in portfolios that invest in mutual funds or similar investments and then use those investments tax-free to pay for qualified college expenses. 4 These expenses can include tuition, books, and room and board at the accredited college of your choice.

529 prepaid college tuition plans—Allow you to prepay all or part of the tuition and mandatory fees of an in-state public college as well as some private colleges based on today's tuition rates. Private College 529 Plan is the only prepaid plan that is not state-sponsored. The Plan is designed for use at more than 270 participating private colleges and universities throughout the country.

How do 529 Plans vary?

529 Plans vary in a number of ways, including contribution limits to the account, fees to open and maintain an account, in-state tax treatments such as a state tax deduction, investment options offered and the financial services company that manages the Plan. There may also be other differences, such as special programs or benefits defined by the particular plan.

Before opening a 529 plan account, you should consider whether the state you or your designated beneficiary (child) reside in, or have taxable income in, has a 529 plan that offers favorable state income tax or other benefits that are only available if you invest in that state's 529 plan.

How does a 529 Plan compare to other investment choices?

Easily compare features of 529 plans and other savings vehicles.

What happens if an account owner or beneficiary dies before a certificate is redeemed?

When opening an account you must choose a beneficiary and appoint a successor owner. A successor owner assumes ownership of the account if the account owner dies with all the rights of the original account owner.

In the event of a beneficiary's death, the account owner has two options:

  • Designate a family member of the deceased beneficiary as the new beneficiary
  • Request a refund

In the case of a refund request, one-year (12 calendar months) holding period for refunds is waived.

What if I have another question?

Please feel free to contact us. The Disclosure Statement and Enrollment Agreement contain additional Plan details.

FAQs

Q: What if I have only saved part of the tuition required by the time my child prepares to enroll in a participating school?

A: Consider financial aid and scholarships to help fund the rest. Our Financial Aid Planner calculator helps you estimate your Expected Family Contribution what colleges may expect your family to pay. It's a common starting point for financial aid decisions.

View all FAQs



1. See Disclosure Booklet for details. There may be tax consequences associated with these options. If you take a refund rather than redeem your tuition certificates for their intended purpose, the refund will be adjusted based on the net performance of the Program Trust, subject to a maximum increase of 2% per year, or a maximum loss of 2% per year. Additionally, the refund is subject to federal income taxes, any state income tax and may be subject to an additional 10% federal tax penalty. The Refund Amount will be paid from the Program Trust only, and no other person, including the Program Manager, TPC or any Participating Institution, will be liable for any payments, including those that are greater than the amounts in the Program Trust.

2. You must wait at least 36 months after you purchase a Tuition Certificate to use it to pay tuition.

3. If the account owner dies before the end of the 5-year period, a prorated portion of the contribution allocable to the remaining years in the 5-year period, beginning with the year after the contributor's death, will be included within his or her estate for federal tax purposes.

4. The earnings portion of withdrawals not used for qualified higher education expenses are subject to ordinary federal income tax, any applicable state income tax and an additional 10% federal tax.

Private College 529 Plan is established and maintained by Tuition Plan Consortium, LLC. OFI Private Investments Inc., a subsidiary of OppenheimerFunds, Inc., is the program manager. Participation in the Plan does not guarantee admission to any college or university, nor does it affect the admissions process. Tuition certificates are not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC, TPC, any governmental agency or OFI Private Investments Inc. or its affiliates. Purchasers should carefully consider the risks associated with purchases and refunds of tuition certificates. The Disclosure Statement, including the Enrollment Agreement, contains this and other information about the Plan, and may be obtained by visiting privatecollege529.com or calling 1.888.718.7878. Purchasers should read these documents carefully before purchasing a tuition certificate.
© 2014 OFI Private Investments Inc.