Wisconsin’s Edvest 529 College Savings Plan Reduces Fees

Lower fees help families save more for higher education

published August 18, 2022

Wisconsin families saving for college through Wisconsin’s Edvest 529 College Savings Plan will see a greater percentage of their contributions going toward future higher education expenses now that the plan’s program manager reduced fees by 14 percent. Total annual asset-based fees have been lowered by 21 percent year-to-date.

Edvest’s plan management fee reduction, from 0.07 percent to 0.06 percent of total plan assets, went into effect in late July and could save Edvest account owners a combined total of more than $400,000 annually.

The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) negotiated the fee reduction as part of a three-year contract extension with Edvest program manager TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI).

TFI, a subsidiary of TIAA, is a national leader in the program management of 529 college savings plans since their creation more than 20 years ago and has managed Edvest since 2012.

“Lower fees help ensure families see more of their hard-earned dollars going toward their loved one’s education savings,” said DFI Secretary-designee Cheryll Olson-Collins. “Combined with the plan’s new lower fees, attractive tax benefits, and consistent third-party accolades from independent analysts, there’s never been a better time to start saving with Edvest. Together, we can help Wisconsin families accomplish their college savings goals, help Wisconsin children realize their dreams, and create a better future for our state.”

Since Wisconsin leaders passed the state’s 529 legislation decades ago, Edvest has delivered positive benefits to those who save with it.

“The DFI continually looks for opportunities to improve the plan. In addition to enhancing the investment menu earlier this year, which reduced the plan’s average fee, future improvements include an updated Edvest website and additional plan management fee reductions upon Edvest achieving certain milestones in plan growth,” Olson-Collins said.

Save With One of the Best

  • Rated as a Best-In-Class 529 plan by Morningstar for eight consecutive years1
  • The nation’s sixth lowest cost 529 plan2
  • Five-Cap Overall Rating for Wisconsin Residents and Non-Residents by SavingforCollege.com3

About Edvest 529

Edvest is a tax-advantaged investment, meaning contributions to an account may qualify for a state income tax deduction of up to $3,560 per contributor, per beneficiary, per year. Limitations apply.* In addition, earnings are tax-free when used for qualified education expenses including tuition and fees, books, laptops, and more. Funds can be used at any accredited public or private university, college, technical college, community college, or professional school nationwide and many abroad, and toward the cost of apprenticeships registered and certified with the Secretary of Labor under the National Apprenticeship Act.4

For more information about Edvest and how to open an account, visit Edvest.com or call 888-338-3789.



  1. 1In an annual review (10/26/2021) of the largest 529 college savings plans (62 total), Morningstar identified 32 plans that rose above their typical peers, awarding those plans Gold, Silver, and Bronze Morningstar Analyst Ratings for 2021. These plans offer investment options that Morningstar expects will collectively outperform and exhibit some combination of the following attractive features: a well-researched asset-allocation approach, a robust process for selecting underlying investments, an appropriate menu of options to meet investor needs, strong oversight from the state and investment manager, and minimal fees. The four key pillars used by Morningstar to evaluate college savings plans include – Process, People, Parent, and Price. For more information about Morningstar’s overview of the Edvest College Savings Plan, go to Morningstar.com. Past performance does not predict future results. Source: Morningstar.com. A Morningstar Analyst Rating for a 529 college savings plan is not a credit or risk rating. Analyst ratings are subjective in nature and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions.
  2. 2ISS Marketing Intelligence 529 College Savings Fee Analysis Q2 2022. Prior to the fee reduction, Edvest was the sixth lowest cost 529 college savings plan in the country. Edvest’s average annual asset-based fees were 0.16% for all portfolios compared to 0.52% for all 529 plans—more than three times lower than today’s national average for 529 plans.
  3. 3Saving For College’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: Performance, Costs, Features, Reliability, and Resident. Savingforcollege.com, 7/7/2022 based upon data through 3/31/2022.
  4. 4Withdrawals for registered apprenticeship programs can be withdrawn free from federal and Wisconsin income tax. If you are not a Wisconsin taxpayer, these withdrawals may include recapture of tax deduction, state income tax as well as penalties. You should talk to a qualified professional about how tax provisions affect your circumstances.
  5. *To learn more about Wisconsin’s Edvest College Savings Plan, its investment objectives, tax benefits, risks and costs, please see the Plan Description at Edvest.com. Read it carefully. For the 2022 tax year, Wisconsin taxpayers can qualify for a state tax deduction up to $3,560 per beneficiary from contributions made into an Edvest College Savings Plan. Investments in the plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss. If the funds aren’t used for qualified higher education expenses, a federal 10% penalty tax on earnings (as well as federal and state income taxes) may apply. Check with your home state to learn if it offers tax or other benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds or protection from creditors for investing in its own 529 plan. Consult your legal or tax professional for tax advice.
  6. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Member FINRA, distributor and underwriter for the Wisconsin’s Edvest College Savings Plan.


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