Edvest College Savings Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

About 529 Plans

Q:
What if my child decides not to attend college?

If the beneficiary does not attend college, the account owner may change the beneficiary to another eligible family member. If funds are withdrawn for a purpose other than qualified higher education expenses, or they are treated as withdrawn due to the naming of an ineligible beneficiary, the amount will be subject to a 10% federal tax on the earnings in addition to federal and state taxes. Exceptions include: death or disability of the beneficiary, receipt of a scholarship or attendance at a military academy. See the Plan Information and Details section for more info.

Q:
How do 529 Plans vary?

529 plans vary in a number of ways, including contribution limits to the account (defined by the states), 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 investing in a 529 plan, you should consider whether the state you or your designated beneficiary reside in or have taxable income, or 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.

Q:
How does a 529 plan compare to other college savings options?
Q:
If I move out of Wisconsin, what will happen to my account?

If you move to another state, you can keep your money invested and continue making contributions to your Edvest 529 account. Before investing in a 529 plan, you should consider whether the state you or your designated beneficiary reside or have taxable income in offers favorable state tax treatment or other benefits if you invest in that state's 529 plan.

Q:
How do I open an Edvest 529 account or contribute to an existing account?

You can help a child or loved one pay for the rising costs of college by opening an Edvest 529 account or by making a gift contribution to an existing account. Open an account online, download enrollment materials or request an enrollment kit by mail. To contribute to an existing account, follow the Gift instructions.

Q:
How do I transfer account ownership?

You may transfer ownership of your Edvest 529 account at any time. Please note this assignment is an irrevocable action transferring all rights, title and interest in the account to another owner. You will no longer have access to or control of the account.

Q:
How do I know which educational institutions are eligible?

Contact the school to determine if it qualifies as an eligible educational institution or use the Federal School Code Search on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website.

Account Management

Q:
What is the status of my contribution?

To view your transaction history, log in to your account, choose a beneficiary, and scroll down to the transactions section. You can always speak to one of our college savings specialists at 1-888-338-3789, Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM CT.

Q:
Are there any fees associated with opening an Edvest College Savings Plan account?

With the Edvest College Savings Plan, there are no sales charges, start-up or maintenance fees. To review the current total annual asset-based fees, which are comprised of the underlying investment expenses for each Investment Portfolio, the Plan Manager fee, and state administration fee, please see fees and expenses.

Q:
Do I have to use my account at a Wisconsin college or university?

No. The money in your account may be used at any eligible educational institution in the United States, and some abroad. This includes public and private colleges and universities, technical colleges, graduate schools, and professional schools.

In addition, up to $10,000 annually per student, in aggregate from all 529 plans, can be withdrawn free from federal tax if used for tuition expenses at a public, private or religious elementary, middle, or high school.

Please see the state tax treatment of withdrawals used for K-12 school tuition here.

Q:
How can I change bank info, change my address, or other account information?

To update your profile information online, including payment information, login here or call the Plan at 1-888-338-3789, Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM CT.

Q:
Do I need an account for each child?

Individual 529 accounts have one owner and one named beneficiary. Though it is possible to change your designated beneficiary, many parents find it easier to track and manage separate accounts for each of their children.

Q:
Can I rollover funds from another 529 plan into an Edvest College Savings Plan account?

Yes, you can transfer funds from another 529 college savings plan to your Edvest account for the same beneficiary once within a 12-month period without incurring a taxable event. The 529 plan from which you are transferring funds may be subject to different features, costs and surrender charges. You should consult your tax advisor or the other 529 college savings plan. State and local taxes may apply. For more information see: How to Manage an Incoming Rollover from another 529 Account.

Q:
Can I deposit a refund for dropped courses back into the Edvest College Savings Plan?

Yes - funds may be redeposited to your 529 plan within 60 days without penalty should a student need to withdraw from a class. The recontributed amount cannot exceed the amount of the refund.

Beneficiaries

Q:
Who can be the beneficiary of an account?

Any U.S. citizen or resident, including the account holder, can be the beneficiary. The beneficiary must have a valid Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number.

Q:
Can my beneficiary have more than one Edvest College Savings Plan account?

Yes, a beneficiary may have more than one Edvest College Savings Plan account. However, an account owner can have only one account for each beneficiary.

For example, a beneficiary may have an account owned by their parent, and/or their grandparent, and/or their aunt, etc. There is an overall maximum account balance limit of $505,000 which applies to all accounts opened for a beneficiary.

Q:
Can I change the beneficiary of my account?

Yes, you can change your beneficiary at any time or transfer a portion of your investment to a different eligible beneficiary. The new beneficiary must be an eligible member of the previous beneficiary's family. For more information see: Change your beneficiary.

Investments

Q:
Where do I get information on Edvest College Savings Plan performance?

Performance data for the Edvest investment portfolios is available here: Historical Data.

Q:
What are my investment choices?

Edvest offers you a choice of investment portfolios. These portfolios vary in investment strategy and degree of risk, allowing you to select a portfolio or combination of portfolios that may fit your needs. To see the list of investment portfolios, brief descriptions and associated fees and expenses, visit Researching Investments. For more information on the risks involved in investing and the type of investor for whom each investment portfolio may be appropriate, read the Plan Description (PDF).

Q:
Can I change my investment selection?

Yes, each time you make a contribution you may select from any of the Edvest investment portfolio options. Once invested in a particular portfolio, contributions and earnings may be transferred to another portfolio twice per calendar year or upon transfer of funds to a Plan account for a different eligible beneficiary (see the Plan Description for more information). To transfer funds between portfolios, log in to your Edvest 529 account or use the Change of Investment Form.

Contributions

Q:
Are Edvest 529 contributions deductible from federal tax?

No, 529 plan contributions are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.

Q:
Are contributions made pre-tax or after-tax to an Edvest 529 account?

Plan contributions are always made after-tax regardless of the method in which the contribution is made.

Q:
What is the maximum I can contribute to an account?

There is no annual limit on the amount you may contribute. However, there is an overall maximum account balance limit of $505,000. not, which applies to all accounts opened for a beneficiary. Accounts that have reached the maximum account balance limit may continue to accrue earnings.

Q:
How do I contribute to an Edvest 529 account?

You can contribute to an Edvest 529 account by making a one-time contribution by check or electronic funds transfer, establishing a recurring contribution, payroll direct deposit, or a rollover from another 529 College Savings Program Account, Coverdell Education Savings Account or qualified U.S. savings bond. Your contribution will be invested according to your Allocation instructions, which you may change at any time online, by telephone or by requesting and submitting the Change of Investment Form. For more information, click here.

Q:
How do I sign up for payroll direct deposit?

If you wish to make contributions to your Edvest 529 account from your paycheck, first ask your employer if direct deposit is available, then log in to your Edvest 529 account and follow the "Payroll Direct Deposit" instructions found by clicking the Profile & Documents link or submit the appropriate form by mail.

Please see our Forms & Resources page for more payroll direct deposit information.

Online Access

Q:
I forgot my username?

If you have forgotten your Username, please click here.

Q:
I forgot my password?

If you have forgotten your password, please tell us your user name and registered e-mail address here.

Q:
How do I change my password?

To change your password, log in here, choose a beneficiary and select "Profile and Documents,"then "Password & Security Features" from the left hand navigation.

Q:
I forgot BOTH my username and password?

If you have forgotten both your Username and password, first retrieve your Username by clicking here. Once you have received your Username, log in, and you can log in with a temporary password.

Q:
How do I unlock my account?

If your account has been locked, please contact client services at 1-888-338-3789 from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM CT Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. They can assist you with unlocking your account. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Q:
How do I sign up for e-Delivery?

To sign up for e-delivery, log in here, choose a beneficiary and select "Profile and Documents," then "Delivery Preferences" from the left hand navigation.

Taxes

Q:
Is there a Wisconsin income tax deduction?

If you are a Wisconsin taxpayer, your contributions to Edvest may be deducted from state taxable income up to a maximum of $3,340 per beneficiary ($1,670 for married filing separate status and for divorced parents of a beneficiary) for the 2020 tax year. You do not have to be related to the beneficiary and remember, this tax benefit is per beneficiary so if you're contributing to accounts for multiple children or grandchildren, you can potentially reduce your Wisconsin taxable income even more. The state tax deadline is April 15 of the following year.

You may also carry forward contribution amounts exceeding the maximum annual deduction amounts to future tax years until exhausted. As an example, a $10,000 contribution may qualify for state tax deductions over three or more tax years.

For more details, including treatment of rollovers, non-qualified withdrawals, withdrawals taken within 365 days of a contribution and recapture provisions, read the Plan Description and check with your tax advisor.

Q:
What are the federal and state tax advantages?

When you contribute to the Edvest College Savings Plan, any account earnings can grow federal and Wisconsin income tax-deferred until withdrawn. Plus, distributions used to pay for qualified higher education expenses will be free from federal and Wisconsin income tax.

Q:
What are the federal estate and gift tax benefits?

Contributions to an Edvest College Savings Plan account may help reduce the taxable value of your estate. For more information about gifting, please click here.  

Q:
How are withdrawals for non-qualified expenses taxed?

The earnings portion of a non-qualified withdrawal is subject to state and federal income taxation and the additional 10% federal tax. See the Plan Description for details.

Q:
How are withdrawals for qualified higher education expenses taxed?

If you are taking a withdrawal to pay for qualified higher education expenses of the beneficiary, there will be no federal or state income tax. Find out how to make a withdrawal.

Q:
Can a HOPE/American Opportunity Credit of Lifetime Learning Credit for qualified tuition and other related expenses still be taken?

A student or the student's parent may claim a Hope Scholarship Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit for certain qualified education expenses, provided that eligibility requirements for the credit are met. However, you cannot claim a credit based on the same expenses used to figure the tax-free portion of a distribution (withdrawal) from a 529 plan. You should consult the current version of IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, for information about other tax incentives available for educational expenses.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Q:
Will saving with a 529 Plan affect my eligibility for financial aid?

Assets in a parent owned 529 account have less of an impact on financial aid than some other savings methods. "Expected Family Contribution" (EFC) calculations generally factor parent assets outside of retirement savings at approximately 5% whereas student assets are generally factored in at 20% or more. Therefore, a parent owned 529 account has less of an impact on financial aid eligibility than assets owned by the student.

For more information, please click here.

Q:
What if my child gets a full or partial scholarship?

If the beneficiary receives a scholarship that covers the cost of qualified expenses, you can withdraw the funds from your account up to the amount of the scholarship without incurring the 10% federal tax penalty on the earnings portion. However, the earnings portion will be subject to federal and state income tax. If the amount withdrawn exceeds the amount of the scholarship, the earnings portion of the amount withdrawn will be subject to the additional 10% federal tax penalty. Please consult with a qualified tax advisor or consultant.

Withdrawals

Q:
How do I withdraw money to pay for college?

You may request a withdrawal via your account online. Select the beneficiary you would like to withdraw the money for, click "Make a Withdrawal" on the left hand navigation and follow the directions. Alternatively, you may request a withdrawal by using the Withdrawal Request Form.

Q:
What is a taxable withdrawal?

Taxable withdrawals are withdrawals due to the beneficiary's death, permanent disability, receipt of a scholarship award, or attendance at a military academy. A taxable withdrawal will be subject to applicable state and federal income tax on earnings, if any, but will not be subject to the 10% additional federal tax on earnings (the "Additional Tax").

See the Plan Description for additional information.

Q:
What is the status of my withdrawal?

To view your transaction history, log in to your account or contact the Plan at 1-888-338-3789, Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM CT.

Q:
What are qualified higher education expenses?

Qualified higher education expenses include tuition, certain room and board expenses, fees, and the cost of books, supplies, and equipment required for the enrollment and attendance of the Beneficiary at an eligible educational institution, which includes most post-secondary institutions. Computers and related technology such as internet access fees, software or printers are also qualified education expenses when used primarily by the beneficiary when enrolled at an eligible educational institution.

Qualified higher education expenses also include certain additional enrollment and attendance costs of a beneficiary who is a special needs beneficiary in connection with the beneficiary's enrollment or attendance at an eligible institution. For this purpose, an eligible educational institution generally includes accredited postsecondary educational institutions offering credit toward a bachelor's degree, an associate's degree, a graduate-level degree or professional degree, or another recognized postsecondary credential.

Qualified higher education expenses also include tuition in connection with enrollment or attendance at a K-12 public, private or religious school, up to a maximum of $10,000 per year per Beneficiary from all Section 529 plans. State tax treatment of withdrawals for K-12 tuition expense is determined by the state where you file state income tax. If you are not a Wisconsin taxpayer, please consult with a tax advisor.

Q:
What room and board expenses are covered?

The beneficiary must be enrolled at least half time at an eligible post-secondary institution. For students living in housing owned and operated by the institution, the full invoice amount will be used to determine the qualified room and board expenses. For those students living at home or in off-campus housing, the "cost of attendance" allowance for the individual institution will be used for the qualified room and board expenses.

Q:
Are computers, tablets and associated costs considered qualified higher education expenses?

Computers and related technology such as internet access fees, software or printers are also qualified education expenses. The student must be the primary user of the equipment.

Q:
How do I know which educational institutions are eligible?

Contact your school to determine if it qualifies as an eligible educational institution or use the Federal School Code Search on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website.

Q:
Is paying off a student loan considered a qualified higher education expense?

Federal tax treatment of 529 plan qualified higher education expenses or QHEEs includes the repayment of up to $10,000 (including principal and interest) on any qualified education loan of either a 529 plan designated beneficiary or a sibling of the designated beneficiary. To be a qualified expense, the loan repayment amount for an individual is subject to a lifetime limit of $10,000.

Please see the state tax treatment of withdrawals used toward student loan repayment here.

Q:
What is a non-qualified withdrawal?

A non-qualified withdrawal is any withdrawal that does not meet the requirements of being: (1) a qualified withdrawal; (2) a taxable withdrawal; or (3) a rollover. The earnings portion of a non-qualified withdrawal is subject to state and federal income taxation, and the additional 10% federal tax. See the Plan Information and Details section for more info.

Q:
Under what circumstances are taxable withdrawals not subject to the 10% federal tax penalty?

Taxable withdrawals that are not subject to the 10% federal tax penalty are withdrawals due to the beneficiary's death, the permanent disability of the beneficiary, the beneficiary's receipt of a scholarship award or certain other tax-free amounts, or the beneficiary's attendance at a military academy. A taxable withdrawal will be subject to applicable state and federal income tax on earnings, if any, but will not be subject to the 10% additional federal tax on earnings (the "Additional Tax").

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