Granddaughter smiling at grandfather while playing checkers

Want to get the most out of your Ohio 529 account? Then visit the Manage page of Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, where you will find the resources to guide you through all the life stages of your Ohio 529 account.

Set up your account to build itself

Automatic deposits are the simplest and best way to grow your account. You can set up 529 contributions to be taken directly from your paycheck or from your bank account. The minimum contribution is $25.

For automatic payroll direct deposit, first, figure out how much you would like to deposit from your paycheck into your child’s Ohio 529 Plan. Then log in to your account. On the left side of the screen, select “Manage recurring contributions.” Once there, go to “payroll deduction.” Enter the dollar amount you’d like directly deposited and then hit submit. Afterwards, select “Get Form” to print the form. If your payroll department processes direct deposit, sign the form and hand it in for processing. If you manage your direct deposits through an employee portal, add the form information. Be sure to list this as a checking account. 

If you already do l direct deposit and would like to increase the dollar amount, select “Change payroll instructions” to make your adjustments.

You can set up your own recurring Ohio 529 contributions from your personal checking or savings account. Log in to your account. Under “Manage recurring contributions,” select “Add a new recurring contribution instruction.” Choose the dollar amount, and the number of recurring contributions (i.e., weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly), add your personal checking or savings account information and then hit next. On the following page, you can review your elections. Once you have verified them, hit submit. And there, you’ve done it!

Have U shared your Ugift code?

Ugift is the simple way to invite family and friends to save for your children’s future when celebrating holidays, birthdays, and special achievements with gift contributions to your CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 account.

After logging in to your account, you can set up an Ugift code to share with your loved ones. This code will not be your Ohio 529 account number. You can also send the Ugift code through the READYSAVE 529 app, either via text message, email, Facebook Messenger, Facebook post, or Instagram Message. The Ugift code allows others to make online gift contributions directly to your CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan without your account number. Friends and family can visit to make their electronic contribution securely from their bank account.

If you’d like to learn more about Ugift, visit 529 Gift Central to watch a 29-second video.

To-do lists for account owners

Under this tab, you can verify what steps to complete in the lifecycle of your Ohio 529 account.

For instance, follow the check list of what you should review each year – like your automatic deposit amount, your savings goals, reviewing your investments, and important account documents, and setting up e-delivery of statements and other notifications. Once you’ve completed each task, just mark it off on the list.

There is also guidance for when things change in your life. There’s links to take you directly to the forms on how to make account changes like updating your Ohio 529 account beneficiary information. You can even change the beneficiary online to another member of the family. We can also take you to where you can update your personal details like your new address, phone number, or banking information.

After saving for your children for years, you will reach the point when you need to start taking withdrawals from your 529 for qualified higher education expenses. The guidance under the “When It’s Time To Pay For School” section will show how to either send your tax-free 529 withdrawal directly to the school or to your personal banking accounts to reimburse yourself for the payment of the qualified costs. There’s also information on how to use a grandparent-owned Ohio 529 account when it’s time for your grandchild to head off for their higher education.

Want to see your other investment options?

If you’d like to check out all the investment options Ohio’s 529 Plan offers, this is your stop to see what options you have available in which to place your higher education savings. Ohio’s 529 Plan offers a wide range of investment options, from ready-made Target Enrollment Portfolios, ready-made Advantage Age Based Portfolios, ready-made risk-based portfolios, build-your-own portfolios from individual investment options like international stock Funds, U.S. Stock funds, U.S. Balanced Fund, Income-Focused Fund options, Capital Preservation Investment Fund option and FDIC-insured banking options. 

Here’s what you should think about every key stage

In this section, Ohio’s 529 Plan offers best practices on how to build up your 529 college savings plan throughout the years.

For instance, during pregnancy, you can already set up the Ohio 529 account for your baby under your Social Security number and then switch it to your child’s once you have their Social Security number. This way, when you have your baby showers, you can ask for gifts to their Ohio 529 account and start saving early for their higher education.

And that’s just the start. There are specific steps for growing your 529 account during these specific periods of your child’s life like their first birthday, pre-school years, kindergarten through elementary school, middle school years, during high school, withdrawal time, to after school. In each stage, Ohio 529 has ideas for you to implement that can build your higher education and career training savings.

As always, if you need any help with your CollegeAdvantage 529 account, our customer service department is available from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday at 1-800-AFFORD-IT (233-6734).

Since 1989, Ohio’s 529 Plan has been helping families across the nation save for their children’s education. Ohio’s 529 Plan covers qualified costs at any four-year college or university, two-year community college, trade or vocational school, apprenticeship approved by the U.S. Labor Department, or certificate program nationwide that accepts federal financial aid. Learn, plan, and start for as little as $25 today at CollegeAdvantage

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