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How much do 529 plans cost?

529 plan costs can vary based on the type of savings plan you select. 529 plans typically assess a variety of fees.

529 Prepaid Tuition Plan Fees

529 prepaid tuition plans traditionally have relatively few to no fees since the cost of the plan depends on the age and grade of the child when you purchase the plan. Some prepaid tuition plans may require you to pay for other costs associated with attendance that may not be included with the total cost of tuition which could raise your overall total costs.

529 Savings Plan Fees

529 savings plans assess a variety fees. 529 savings plans typically feature the following fees:

  • Enrollment Fee. If you open a 529 savings plan sold by the state you live in, some state plans will waive any enrollment fee. If you’re enrolling in an out-of-state plan, you may have to pay a fee to enroll. 
  • Annual Maintenance Fee. Some plans charge an annual maintenance fee, usually ranging from $10 to $50. Many state-sponsored 529 plans reduce or eliminate this fee for state residents, plan participants who make automatic contributions, or for plan participants who maintain their plan’s minimum balance. 
  • Administration/Management Fee. Some plans charge an annual operating fee. This fee is typically calculated as a percentage of your 529 savings plan’s account balance. 
  • Underlying Fund Expenses. Savings plans typically allow you to choose from a number of mutual funds.  Your fees may vary depending on the funds you select. 

Tip: Fees vary from plan to plan. Do not assume that your state’s savings plan will have lower fees than a national plan. Take your time to thoroughly review your plan’s materials and ask questions if something is unclear. Every dollar you pay in fees is a dollar you may have to pay out of pocket for college.