FAQs

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CollegeChoice Advisor is a Section 529 plan offered by the Indiana Education Savings Authority and managed by Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC. CollegeChoice Advisor is designed to help individuals and families save for college in a tax-advantaged way and offers valuable advantages including tax-deferred growth, generous contribution limits, attractive investment options, and professional investment management. CollegeChoice Advisor is offered only through financial advisors.

Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC, is a registered broker-dealer, member of FINRA, and is registered with the MSRB. The company is focused on providing 529 plan management and marketing services to state partners and families saving for college.

Any U.S. citizen or resident alien, 18 or older, or an entity that is organized in the U.S., with a Social Security number and a valid, permanent U.S. street address, can open a CollegeChoice Advisor account, regardless of income level. Parents, grandparents, other family, and friends can open an account for anyone they choose.

Any person of any age (with a Social Security number) can be named as the beneficiary of a CollegeChoice Advisor account. As account owner, you can select a child, adult or even yourself as beneficiary. If a beneficiary decides not to attend college, you can name another beneficiary who is a qualified member of the same family as the original beneficiary1.

No. Assets in the account can be used toward the costs of nearly any public or private, 2-year or 4-year college nationwide, as long as the student is enrolled in a U.S.-accredited college, university, or technical school that is eligible to participate in U.S. Department of Education student financial aid programs.

Your clients can establish an account with as little as $25 and make monthly investments of $25 or more. More than one person can contribute to the same account until the aggregated contributions for a beneficiary reach $450,000. After that, the account may continue to grow higher through investment earnings only.

Investments grow tax deferred and can be withdrawn federal income tax free if used for qualified higher education expenses;2 there are federal gift- and estate-tax incentives; and Indiana taxpayers are eligible for a state income tax credit of 20% of contributions to their CollegeChoice Advisor account, up to $1,000 credit per year.3 For more information on the tax credit, see Frequently Asked Questions on the Indiana Education Savings Authority website. (Note: You will be leaving this website.)

  • Electronic funds transfer (opening contribution of $25) from your checking or savings account
  • Automatic investment plan4 (opening contribution of $25) with scheduled contributions in set amounts from your checking or savings account
  • Payroll direct deposit (of $25 or more) through participating employers
  • Check (made payable to CollegeChoice Advisor)
  • Rollover from another 529 plan
  • Rollover from an Education Savings Account or a qualified Series EE or Series I U.S. Savings Bond
  • Transfer from an UGMA/UTMA account
  • Ugift (minimum of $25)
  • Upromise rewards (minimum of $25)

Yes. Your clients may perform a federal income tax-free rollover from another qualified tuition program into their CollegeChoice Advisor account for the same beneficiary once every 12 months. Please note that, effective January 1, 2010, rollovers from another state's qualified tuition program will no longer be eligible for the Indiana state income tax credit.

529 plan assets are counted at different rates for the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) in the FAFSA formula. As of July 1, 2009, federal guidelines are as follows:

  • If the student is a dependent, a 529 plan account is considered as the parent's asset (if the account owner is the parent or the dependent student). As a result, it will generally be counted at a rate of only 3-6% of its value for the EFC.
  • If the student is not a dependent and is the account owner, the 529 plan account is treated as the student's asset and is generally factored into the EFC at the higher rate of 20%.
  • In other cases, the account does not count as an asset for federal financial aid purposes. (However, a student may have to report distributions received from the account as income for these purposes.)

Note: Financial aid programs offered by educational institutions and other non-federal sources may have their own guidelines for the treatment of 529 plan accounts.

For complete information about financial aid eligibility, you should consult with a financial aid professional and/or the state or educational institution offering a particular financial aid program, since rules and regulations often change. 
 

The Plan charges a program management fee of 0.34% and an Administrative Fee of 0.10% (except for the Savings Portfolio). In addition, an Annual Account Maintenance Fee of $20 is charged to each account; this fee is waived if the combined account balance for the same account owner and beneficiary is equal to or greater than $25,000, or if the account owner or the beneficiary is an Indiana resident. These fees are in addition to the expense ratios of each investment option. Please refer to the Disclosure Statement for more information.

Class A units: Please see CLASS A FEE STRUCTURE TABLE on page 29 of the supplement for the Disclosure Statement.

Class C units: Please see CLASS C FEE STRUCTURE TABLE on page 31 of the supplement for the Disclosure Statement.

  • No front-end sales charge with a 1.00% dealer commission
  • One-year contingent-deferred sales charge of 1.00%
  • Annual trail commission of 1.00% after the 13th month

Savings Portfolio Class A and Class C are only administrative classifications and do not incur front-end sales charges, contingent-deferred sales charges, nor annual trail commissions. See the Disclosure Statement for more information.

 

1 For beneficiary changes to occur without federal or state income taxes, the new beneficiary must be a family member of the original beneficiary. Please see the Disclosure Statement for a definition of a "family member." 
2 Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals are subject to federal income tax and may be subject to a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements. 
3 This credit may be subject to recapture from the account owner (not the contributor) in certain circumstances, such as a rollover to another state's qualified tuition program or a non-qualified withdrawal. Please note that, effective January 1, 2010, the Indiana state income tax credit will no longer apply to rollovers from another state's qualified tuition program or to transfers from the Upromise service into a CollegeChoice Advisor account. All other contributions will continue to be eligible for the tax credit to the extent previously allowable. 
4 An investment plan of regular investment cannot assure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market. 
5 Does not apply to Savings Portfolio. Please see the Disclosure Statement.