College Savings Plans: Nevada Edition

College Savings Plans: Nevada Edition

We here at MomVesting continue our “Eastward, ho!” approach to bringing you the details about our fine nation’s 529 plans. This time, we’ll take a look at what Nevada has to offer with its five (yes, five!) plans. There’s probably a joke about gambling in here, Nevada being the home of Las Vegas and all, so feel free to insert your own witty comment here. On to the plans, shall we?

Here are the names of Nevada’s five 529 plans: Nevada Prepaid Tuition Program, Putnam 529 for America, the Upromise College Fund, the Vanguard 529 Savings Plan, and USAA 529 College Savings Plans. Scroll down for details on each program.

Nevada Prepaid Tuition Program

This is the only one in the bunch that has a residency requirement, making it available only to those who reside in Nevada; anyone who is an alumnus of a Nevada college or university can also participate in this plan. Also, of the five plans, this is the only one that is a prepaid plan. This means that, unlike a savings plan, prospective students can in essence have tuition at today’s rates bought for them for future use. What you need to know:

  • There’s an enrollment period, usually December through February; this extends through the end of June for newborns.
  • There’s a $100 enrollment fee per child, although there is a 50% discount for those opting for automatic payroll deduction.
  • There are three ways to pay into the plan: lump sum, sixty payments spread over five years or a monthly payment until the beneficiary is ready to enter college.
  • Contracts bought through the program can be used towards out-of-state tuitions.

Nevada’s Putnam 529 for America

This adviser-sold savings plan is managed by Putnam Investments. Open to all residents of Nevada and the United States, this is a fairly new plan which opened in October 2010. What you need to know:

  • Has a maximum contribution of $370,000 per beneficiary; this takes into account all 529 plans for any given beneficiary.
  • There’s a $25 minimum contribution.
  • Fees include a $15 maintenance fee (waived for automatic payments of $100 or more per month, Nevada residents and accounts in excess of $25,000), program management fees (including a fee to the state), and possible sales charges on contributions based on class of shares.
  • Participants can choose from three age-based options.
  • For static options, there are three goal-based options, eleven individual-fund and four Putnam Absolute Return options.

The Upromise College Fund

Upromise manages this savings plan as well as a few others in Nevada and is open to all United States residents. What you need to know:

  • There’s a maximum contribution of $370,000 per beneficiary, taking into account balances for all 529 plans per beneficiary.
  • The minimum lump-sum initial contribution is $250, with a minimum of $50 after that. For automatic payments, there’s a minimum of $50 per month if from a bank or $15 monthly if contribution is through payroll deductions.
  • There is no enrollment fee, but participants can expect a $20 maintenance fee if not a Nevada resident.
  • There are three risk levels for age-based investment options: aggressive, moderate or conservative.
  • For static options, there are five multi-fund and three individual portfolios plus an FDIC-insured savings account.
  • There is a Silver State Matching Grant Program which can match contributions to the plan up to a maximum of $300 annually and $1,500 lifetime.

Nevada‘s Vanguard 529 Savings Plan

This is another savings plan managed by Upromise and open to all US residents. What you need to know:

  • Has a $370,000 maximum contribution per beneficiary, which includes balances of all 529 plans per beneficiary.
  • Minimum contributions are $50 for those using an automatic plan through an employer or $3,000 for lump-sum plans with each contribution after that $50.
  • There is no enrollment fee, but accounts with less than $3,000 can expect a $20 annual maintenance fee. There are also program management fees involved that vary with the different investment options.
  • Investment options include three aged-based, five multi-funds and fourteen individual funds.

Nevada’s USAA 529 College Savings Plan

The final plan is another savings plan managed by Upromise that is open to all US residents. What you need to know:

  • There is a maximum contribution of $370,000 per beneficiary.
  • Minimum contributions include $250 for lump-sum investments and $50 for those contributions by an automatic investment plan; contributions after the initial one are $50.
  • There are no enrollment fees, but there is a $15 account maintenance fee (waived for owners and beneficiaries who are Nevada residents) annually plus a $15 minimum balance fee for those accounts under $5,000 not involved with automatic contributions.
  • There are both six aged-based and static options to choose from with investment into this 529 plan.

This plan does feature a unique matching program called the USAA Distinguished Valor Matching Grant Program. Immediate family members of a wounded or fallen soldier, who is a Nevada resident or stationed in Nevada and a recipient of the Purple Heart during Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom, can have up to $1,500 of their contributions matched through this program.

There you have it: the nitty gritty on all five 529 plans available through Nevada. Keep watching for more states as we continue to explore all of the college savings plans offered throughout the country.

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Brady Jones's picture

Brady Jones wrote:

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 18:57 Comment #: 1

Thanks for sharing these plans. I want all of my kids to have a good education. To get a good job, especially in this economy and education is essential. If I can help provide my children with a good education, I am confident that they will be able to take care of themselves and their future families.