NOTE: This is the process for CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan accounts only. The process is different for Guaranteed Plan accounts.

Summer is cruising on by and back-to-school time is fast approaching. It’s also the time of the year when CollegeAdvantage 529 Plan account owners prepare to make withdrawals to cover their children’s 529-qualified higher education expenses. CollegeAdvantage is here to give you some guidance on the best methods for making those 529 college savings plan withdrawals, especially those that aren’t paid to the school.

529 Plan Online Withdrawal Requests

First, begin the withdrawal transaction online. By initiating the request online, you are taking advantage of the fastest and most accurate method of accessing funds from your 529 college savings plan. However, if you prefer to manually fill in the paperwork, CollegeAdvantage offers a Withdrawal Request Form. Just be aware that it is potentially the slowest process to withdrawal money from your 529 accounts.

Where To Send College Savings Plan Withdrawal

As you are preparing to pay a qualified higher education expense, consider where you would like the 529 plan funds deposited: your bank account, your student’s bank account, or have the check mailed directly to school, you, or the beneficiary.

For example, if the school lists your child’s room and board on the bill, you have the option of requesting that CollegeAdvantage mail the check directly to the school. However, if your child’s living expenses are separated from their tuition and fees expenses, then you will need to pay the property manager (or landlord, or fraternity/sorority, etc.) directly. For this and other off-campus housing, withdraw the needed funds from your CollegeAdvantage account. The money can be directly deposited to your or the beneficiary’s bank account, or CollegeAdvantage can mail a check directly to you or the beneficiary to cover the costs. Then you can pay the upcoming bill. Please keep in mind the bank account that you would like the withdrawal to be deposited into must be on your CollegeAdvantage account for a minimum of 15 days prior to the withdrawal.

Reimburse Yourself From The 529 Account

What if you’ve already paid for some 529-qualified higher education expenses, such as books, mandatory fees, or the bill for your student’s internet access? You can reimburse these qualified costs from your 529 college savings plan! Be sure to hold onto the receipts and bills to keep track of what you spent. Once you have a final total, request a 529 withdrawal for that amount. You can have it deposited to your bank account to compensate for the payment of the qualified expenses.

If you would like additional guidance on making 529 withdrawals to pay tuition or room and board, please read this article for suggestions.

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