Investment Plan

How the PA 529 IP Works

The PA 529 Investment Plan helps families save for education in a way that meets their needs and budget.

You control your PA 529 IP account, selecting from a list of 17 investment options from Vanguard, one of America's largest financial service companies. Funds range from conservative to balanced to aggressive in their investment approaches. How you invest is up to you.

Your return is based on the performance of the underlying funds, which include stocks, bonds and other investments, depending on the options you choose. Due to market conditions, your return could be higher or lower than the rate of tuition inflation.

PA 529 Investment Plan rated by MorningstarTM as “Best in Class”1

The PA 529 College and Career Savings Program Investment Plan (IP) has received, for the first time in its history, a Morningstar Bronze RatingTM in its review of Top 529 College Savings Plans for 2019. The ranking puts the Pennsylvania plan among an elite group of 30 “Best in Class” plans, less than half of all the plans rated by MorningstarTM.

529 plans are rated based on five key pillars: Process, People, Parents, Price, and Performance. According to MorningstarTM, the PA 529 IP received a Morningstar Bronze RatingTM based on improvements made to the plan since 2017, including age-based investment options, portfolio diversification, fee reductions, and overall better oversight of the plan. MorningstarTM also highlighted some of PA 529’s unique benefits, including a rewards program and the new Keystone Scholars program, which provides a $100 starter deposit to a PA 529 account for every baby born to a Pennsylvania family, starting in 2019.

1 ©2019 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Features & Benefits

Easy to set up. Anyone can open a PA 529 IP account with as little as $10 and make contributions of $10 or more whenever you want. Payroll deduction and automatic investing plans make saving even easier.

Use your account at most schools. You can use your PA 529 IP to pay for most higher education expenses at many colleges, universities and community colleges, as well as graduate, career and technical schools in the U.S. and abroad. You can also use your PA 529 at elementary or secondary public, private, or religious schools. Visit to see eligible post-secondary schools.

Pay for more than just tuition. Qualified higher education expenses include tuition, certain room and board costs, required books and supplies, fees and special needs services. For students in K-12 schools, you can use your PA 529 IP account to pay for tuition. See Qualified K-12 Education Expenses and Qualified Higher Education Expenses, below.

Qualified K-12 Education Expenses

As defined by the Internal Revenue Code, qualified K-12 education expenses include tuition up to $10,000 at elementary or secondary public, private, or religious schools.

Qualified Higher Education Expenses

As defined by the Internal Revenue Code, qualified higher education expenses include tuition, room and board (with certain limitations), required books, required supplies, required equipment, including computers, mandatory fees and special needs services.

Access your account. Manage your account securely online anytime or call the PA 529 IP to speak to a savings specialist at 1-800-440-4000. You can change beneficiaries, permissions and investment choices any time.

No residency restrictions. Any U.S. legal resident 18 and older can open a PA 529 IP account.

Anyone can contribute. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and family friends can all help cover the cost of your child's education.

It's affordable. The PA 529 IP has low fees that vary by investment option.

Choose the Investments that Are Right for You

The PA 529 Investment Plan offers a choice of 17 investment options managed by The Vanguard Group: three age-based options and 14 individual funds, including a socially responsible equity portfolio. For more information, read the PA 529 IP Disclosure Statement.

Make investing simple with age-based options

You can simplify saving for college by selecting an investment option that automatically rebalances your asset mix at various stages of your child's life.

When you invest in an age-based fund, your assets are managed according to the age of your student and your risk tolerance, based on a series of investment portfolios that gradually change over time.

For younger beneficiaries, assets are placed in portfolios that invest in funds with higher concentrations of stocks. As the beneficiary ages, the assets are automatically shifted to more conservative funds that invest in bonds and short-term reserves to reduce your exposure to risk before you start making withdrawals.

Build your own education savings plan

In addition to age-based options, you can choose among 14 individual portfolios that allow you to customize and manage your own education savings program.

Unlike age-based options, the balance of stocks and bonds will remain fixed until you make a change. As your beneficiary nears college age, you may choose to adjust your investments based on your goals and objectives.

Federal law allows you to transfer assets already in your account between investment options twice per calendar year. You can change the investment direction of future contributions at any time.

About PA 529 IP

About The Vanguard Group. The Vanguard Group serves as investment manager for the Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan.

Three words – trust, value, and commitment – describe why millions of investors have made Vanguard their financial home since its founding more than 30 years ago. Vanguard is well known for its dedication to seeking outstanding performance, superior service and low costs. Vanguard is also client-owned, so it makes every decision with only its shareholders' investment needs in mind. Because Vanguard is committed to keeping costs at the lowest reasonable levels, more of your investment returns can keep working for you.

Connect With Us

Phone: 800-440-4000


PA 529 College and Career Savings Program
613 North Drive | Room G-06
Harrisburg, PA 17120