Summer days are drifting away. And with school days drawing near, you need to prepare for your Guaranteed 529 Plan withdrawals to cover your child’s qualified higher education expenses. CollegeAdvantage recommends that you plan ahead so that you know exactly how you will process your withdrawal request and pay your school’s tuition bill. It’s better to prepare now than be caught off-guard by tuition payment deadlines.
Effective Aug. 11, 2016, the payout rates for the CollegeAdvantage Guaranteed 529 Savings Plan are*:
Tuition Unit: $102.35
Tuition Credit: $117.70
With your Guaranteed Plan account, there are several ways to request a withdrawal to pay for expenses. You can request a withdrawal online; there are two online methods for making a withdrawal for tuition and other qualified expenses. Additionally, you can mail in a paper withdrawal form to start the process. Here are some helpful tips for each process.
1) Request a withdrawal is paid directly to your school.
Using the online account management system, you can request that CollegeAdvantage pay your withdrawal directly to the school. When using this method, keep in mind that CollegeAdvantage pays schools by sending a paper check through the U.S. Post Service. Depending on their delivery schedule as well as the school’s paper-check processing procedures, this may cause delays in the payment. CollegeAdvantage is not responsible for any late fees charged by the school, so please plan ahead!
If you still choose the paper check delivery directly to the school, you must do the following:
- Provide CollegeAdvantage with the correct eligible educational institution’s address where the check should be sent.
- Provide your beneficiary’s name and school ID number on the withdrawal request so the school knows to whom to credit the payment.
- Allow at least an additional 10 business days after the date of your online withdrawal request for the check to arrive at the school. Remember, the school will also need additional time to process the payment to your student’s expenses so be aware of any time constraints as you start the withdrawal process.
2) Request a withdrawal is paid directly to your bank account.
The fastest way to pay tuition is to make your online withdrawal payable directly to your bank account. Then, use the funds from your bank account to pay your school using the school’s preferred electronic method.
Here are some other instructions you should know:
• Log in to your CollegeAdvantage Guaranteed Plan account and click on Withdraw Funds.
• Withdrawals requested online before 4 p.m. ET on business days will be processed by CollegeAdvantage overnight. It may take additional time for your bank to show the 529 withdrawal as being deposited. Typically, this is between 3-5 business days from your request date.
• Once you receive your electronic withdrawal deposited to your bank account, use your college’s online payment system to pay your tuition from your bank account. Most schools have their own electronic tuition payment process, as well as other forms of acceptable payment. Payment processing times will vary according to the school. Confirm the processing details with your school’s bursar or financial office. You should ask what the school’s time frame is so to promptly begin the withdrawal procedure to avoid any penalties. Again, CollegeAdvantage is not responsible for any late fees charged by the school, so please plan ahead!
3) Request a withdrawal by mail.
You can also complete your withdrawal, whether payable to you, the beneficiary or the school, via a Withdrawal Request Form. You can fill the form out on screen then print it. This form, as well as all other forms for the CollegeAdvantage Guaranteed 529 Savings Plan, can be downloaded here.
Please keep in mind that mail delivery — to CollegeAdvantage, then to bank accounts and/or to the school — will increase the processing times outlined above. Remember, CollegeAdvantage is not responsible for any late fees charged by the school, so please plan ahead.
Please note: Some Guaranteed Plan withdrawals cannot be processed online, and may require additional steps, which are listed on the Withdrawal Request Form. If you need additional help, please contact CollegeAdvantage’s Customer Service Department at 1-800-AFFORD-IT (233-6734), Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) or email CustomerService@CollegeAdvantage.com.
*Please note that these numbers are subject to change once each of the Four-Year State Universities listed in ORC Section 3345.011, (which include: University of Akron, Bowling Green State University, Central State University, University of Cincinnati, Cleveland State University, Kent State University, Miami University, Ohio University, Ohio State University, Shawnee State University, University of Toledo, Wright State University, and Youngstown State University) have released their annual undergraduate tuition rates. We will publish the update rates as soon as we have them.