Participating Schools

1. Which colleges and universities participate in the Plan?

Nearly 300 private colleges and universities currently participate in the Plan, including schools like:

  • Amherst
  • Baylor
  • Duke
  • Emory
  • MIT
  • Notre Dame
  • Stanford

Private College 529 Plan lets you access a broad range of institutions, including schools you might think are financially out of reach, but that best meet the needs of your student in terms of curriculum, class size, location, athletic programs, graduation rates and more.

Participating schools span the country and include science and engineering schools, traditional liberal arts colleges, historically black colleges, religiously affiliated colleges, research universities and women’s colleges. More schools are joining all the time.

2. Do I have to choose a specific college when I purchase a Certificate?

No. Tuition Certificates purchased today can be used at any current or future participating school, as long as the student is accepted and enrolls. When you enroll in Private College 529 Plan, you are asked to designate up to five sample schools to monitor. Your selections can be changed online at any time, so you can check how much you’ve purchased at any participating institution.

Account statements will report how much tuition you own at each sample school to help you track your progress.

EXAMPLE: A Tuition Certificate purchased for $10,000 today may be worth 0.33 years of tuition at one school where current tuition is $30,000, but 0.25 years at another school where tuition is $40,000.

Participation in the Plan does not guarantee admission to any college or university, nor does it affect the admissions process.

3. Will more private colleges and universities sign on to participate in the Plan?

Today, there are nearly 300 participating schools and the list keeps growing. Tuition Certificates purchased today can be used at any school that currently participates, or any that join later, provided the beneficiary is admitted.

If you don’t see your alma mater or favorite private college on our list, tell us.

4. Can participating colleges end their participation in the Plan?

If a college or university should withdraw from Private College 529 Plan, the school would be obligated to honor all Tuition Certificates that were purchased before its withdrawal. However, Certificates purchased after the school withdrew would not be honored by that school.

5. How do I know that a participating college will honor my Tuition Certificates?

Participating colleges and universities are contractually obligated to guarantee and accept your Tuition Certificates – no matter how much tuition increases or what happens in the financial markets – for up to 30 years.

6. Can I be sure my child is accepted at one of these colleges?

Participation in Private College 529 Plan does not guarantee admission to any college or university, nor does it affect the admissions process. There is a broad range of participating institutions that would meet the needs of most, if not all, students. If your child does not attend a participating college, you have options:

  • Change the beneficiary to a qualified family member
  • Roll the account over into a state-sponsored 529 plan
  • Request a Withdrawal and use the assets to pay for qualified higher education expenses
  • Request a Withdrawal and use the assets to pay for anything other than qualified college expenses. There could be tax and penalty implications with this option. Consult your tax advisor for information specific to your situation.*

If you take a Withdrawal rather than redeem your tuition certificates for their intended purpose, the Withdrawal will be adjusted based on the net performance of the Program Trust, subject to a maximum increase of 2% per year, and a maximum loss of 2% per year. If your Withdrawal amount is not used to pay for qualified higher education expenses, the earnings portion of that amount will be subject to U.S. federal income tax and a 10% additional tax. See Disclosure Statement for details. The Withdrawal amount will be paid from the Program Trust only.