10 Reasons to Save with the Minnesota College Savings Plan

Want to know all the great reasons why you should choose the Minnesota College Savings Plan? This quick list will give you the key benefits of the MNSAVES 529 plan at a glance.

The cost of higher education is only going up, but that shouldn’t get you down. Saving for college doesn’t need to be a burden. With the Minnesota College Savings Plan, there’s no big upfront investment and getting started takes about as long as grabbing a cup of coffee.

Easy & Convenient

With the Minnesota College Savings Plan you can easily open an account in just 15 minutes and easily manage it online or by mail. By setting up recurring contributions from your bank account or by payroll direct deposit (if supported by your employer), making regular contributions is hassle free.

Savings Grow More Due to Tax Advantages

Your earnings, if any, are free from federal income tax when used for qualified expenses. In the meantime, your contributions are reinvested automatically so your account can grow more than a taxable account over the same period.

Use at Schools Anywhere

Your MNSAVES 529 funds can be used at any accredited university, college or vocational school nationwide — and many abroad. Basically any institution with a federal student aid program qualifies. In addition, up to $10,000 annually per student, in aggregate from all 529 plans, can be withdrawn free from federal tax if used toward K-12 school tuition. Please see the state tax treatment of withdrawals used towards K-12 school tuition here.

Use for More Than Just Tuition

The Minnesota College Savings Plan can be used to pay for tuition, certain room and board costs, computers and related technology expenses as well as fees, books, supplies, and other equipment.  In addition, up to $10,000 annually per student, in aggregate from all 529 plans, can be withdrawn free from federal tax if used toward K-12 school tuition.

Lower Impact on Financial Aid than Other Savings Options

Many parents worry that a 529 Savings Account can adversely affect eligibility for financial aid. So long as the parent is the account owner, funds are typically treated as belonging to the parent, not the child, minimizing the impact on financial aid.*


Open an account with as little as $25 per investment option, or $15 dollars per pay period using automatic payroll direct deposit. Since there are no application, sales, or maintenance fees, it’s affordable even for those on a modest budget.

Everyone Can Help

You don’t have to do it all on your own! Grandparents as well as other family and friends can make gifts to your account for maximum growth potential.

Unused Funds Can Be Used for Other Eligible Members of Your Family

If it turns out your child or grandchild doesn’t need all the money or their education goals change, you can designate a new beneficiary penalty-free so long as they’re an eligible member of your family.

Investment Flexibility

The Minnesota College Savings Plan provides a variety of professionally managed investment options to choose from including an enrollment year option that automatically shifts from aggressive to conservative investments as your child approaches their expected year of enrollment in school. Alternatively you can tailor your portfolio with multi-fund, single-fund and principal plus interest options to match your risk tolerance, timeline, and investment preferences.

Estate Tax Planning Benefits

When you or anyone else makes a contribution, it may qualify for an annual gift tax exclusion of $17,000 per year for single filers and $34,000 a year for couples. As a 529 Plan, Minnesota College Savings Plan is the only investment that allows you to give up to 5 years’ worth of gifts at one time — for a maximum of $85,000 for a single filer and $170,000 for couples.

*The treatment of investments in a 529 savings plan varies by school. Assets are typically treated as the account holder’s and not the student’s. (Student assets are generally assessed at 20% whereas parental assets are generally assessed at 5.6%.) Any investments, including those in 529 accounts, may affect the student's eligibility to get financial aid based on need. You should check with the schools you are considering regarding this issue.


Open your account online today and your Minnesota College Savings Plan account could be growing by bedtime.