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Saving for College in NC 529 Plan

1
Tax benefits
Account earnings are free from federal and NC income taxes when used for qualified higher education expenses.
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2
Low cost
Our fees are very low and allow you to keep your money in North Carolina.
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3
Multiple investments
Select from a variety of investment options that cover a range of strategies, from conservative to aggressive.
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4
Easy set-up
Create an NC 529 Account in minutes. You can set up automatic contributions or contribute when it fits your budget.
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5
Benefit of saving regularly
Putting away whatever amount you can on a regular basis adds up. Use simple calculator for a quick look at how money grows over time and test other scenarios with savings planner.
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6
See our contact information and frequently asked questions for answers.
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Tuition Bills Coming Up?

Will your beneficiary be a first-time or returning college student this fall? Then it's a good thing you have NC 529 savings! Make your Withdrawal request go smoothly with these tips.

Making your Request
It's easy... Learn more

Submit the Withdrawal Request online or complete and mail a paper form. Before you submit, review this information:

  • Choose whether funds are to be sent to you, your Beneficiary, or your Beneficiary's college or university.
  • If to you, you may request Withdrawal either as a check or as a credit to your established account in your financial institution. To receive a credit to your financial institution account, you must:
    • Make at least one successful ACH or EFT Contribution from your account at a financial institution to your NC 529 Account;
    • Be aware the ACH or EFT Contribution to your NC 529 Account must be on file for at least 10 business days prior to your Withdrawal request;
    • If you've already made earlier successful contributions via ACH or EFT to your NC 529 Account, your Withdrawal request must go to the same financial institution you've used for previous ACH or EFT contributions.
    • Make no changes on your confirmed financial institution account (such as change of address) within 10 business days prior to your Withdrawal request.
  • A Withdrawal requested to go to your Beneficiary or school will be sent by check.
  • Request amount must be at least $250 (unless the amount in NC 529 Account is less than $250 and withdrawal will bring Account to zero, closing the Account). Maximum Withdrawal amount is amount confirmed and available in your Account.

When is Money Available?
If Contributions to your NC 529 Account have cleared and your Account balance will cover your Withdrawal request, funds will become available; however, the date of availability varies by the method by which the Contribution was made. Learn more

As the Account owner, you can request to receive your Withdrawal as a check or to have the Withdrawal amount credited to your confirmed account in your financial institution. Or you may choose to request that a check in the amount of the Withdrawal be sent to the Beneficiary of your NC 529 Account or to the Beneficiary's school.

If you choose to have funds credited to your account at a financial institution, the following criteria must be met:
  • Withdrawals should be available 5 business days if (a) Contributions made by ACH or EFT have been on file at least 10 business days or if (b) Contributions greater than $75,000 were submitted by any means other than certified funds;
  • Withdrawals should be available 10 business days after (a) the effective date of a check Contribution or (b) the date a Replacement of Participant funds transaction becomes available;
  • Withdrawals will be available immediately when Contributions are made via a Rollover/Transfer transaction within the NC 529 Program.

Can I expedite my Withdrawal Request?
If you ask for overnight delivery; even though expedited, delivery may not actually be next day. Weekday transaction fee is $15 and Saturday delivery $25. See the expedited delivery timeline. Learn more

  • Business Day 1: The Withdrawal request must be received in good order and processed by the NC 529 Plan by 4:00 pm.
  • Business Day 2: A check will be printed and picked up from College Foundation, Inc, for Standard Fed Ex delivery.
  • Business Day 3: Fed Ex will deliver the check to you, but no particular time of day is guaranteed.

What's the difference in a Qualified Withdrawal and a Non-Qualified Withdrawal?
A Qualified Withdrawal is when you use your savings to pay for your Beneficiary's qualified higher education expenses. A Non-Qualified Withdrawal is when you use your money for purposes not related to higher education. Learn more

Qualified Higher Education expenses include:
  • Payment of tuition, fees, and cost of books, supplies, computer and required equipment;
  • Certain costs for room and board for a Beneficiary attending an Eligible Institution (a higher education institution eligible to participate in financial aid programs of the U.S. Department of Education) at least half-time; and,
  • In case of a special needs Beneficiary, for the expenses related to special needs services while enrolled in an Eligible Institution.


Non-Qualified Expenses are items such as:
  • Withdrawals made from your NC 529 Account used to pay taxes owed on a Withdrawal from your Account.
  • A refund of any Excess Contribution you make.
  • Disbursement of your Account balance if Authority determines you have failed to abide by Program rules, or have no intention to use your Account to fund higher education expenses, or assets in your Account are too small to be administered.

Non-Qualified Withdrawals and the earnings portion of the amount Withdrawn may be subject to federal and state income tax and an additional federal income tax of 10%. A transaction charge of $50 is also applied by the Program Administrator for each Non-Qualified Withdrawal request.


Is Your Child Starting Kindergarten?

Then add Kick-Off to Kindergarten to your summer calendar! The NC 529 Plan is is happy to be a sponsor of a free event coming up for rising kindergarteners and their families at Marbles Kids Museum, 201 East Hargett Street in Raleigh.

We'll be there to enjoy the fun and answer any questions you have about college savings. Marbles activities will include practicing a lunch line, boarding a school bus, recess play and more to help prepare your child for this exciting transition. Mark your calendar for the Kick-Off to Kindergarten:
  • Saturday, August 20 from 9 am - 5 pm for traditional school year kindergarten
Share in the excitement of children getting ready to take their first step to college!