The benefits of an MNSAVES 529 Plan:
Tax savings for Minnesotans
Any savings in a Minnesota 529 College Savings Plan grow free of both federal and state taxes. That can mean a lot more money for your higher education expenses—as much as 25% more when compared to a taxable account.
In addition to federal tax benefits, there are state tax benefits as well.
Contributions are deductible for Minnesota income tax purposes up to $1,500 per year for a single return or $3,000 per year for a joint return. Or taxpayers may be eligible for a maximum credit amount up to $500, subject to phase-out based on certain federal adjusted gross income thresholds.
Financial aid friendly1
Money set aside in a 529 plan actually has less of an impact on financial aid than some other savings methods. That is because 529 assets are typically treated as the account holder’s (i.e. parent's) and not the student's.
Every school has a formula for how they calculate the "Expected Family Contribution" (EFC). In general, in EFC calculations, parent assets are assessed at approximately 5% whereas student assets are generally assessed at 20%. Meaning only 5% of parent assets are assumed to go toward how much a family should pay for college, yet a full 20% of the child's assets are assumed to go toward college.
Bottom line, 529 savings have less of an impact when figuring financial aid than assets owned by the child (for example a custodial (UGMA/UTMA) account).
Rated Best in Class 529 plan by Morningstar*
The independent analysts at Morningstar carefully reviewed dozens of 529 plans from all around the country. They assessed each plan's performance, expenses, and investment process, as well as the people and company that operate the plan. And based on their analysis, they awarded the Minnesota College Savings Plan a coveted "Best in Class" rating.
So, if you are looking to make the most of your family’s college saving, the choice is really clear—go with a winner: the Minnesota 529 College Savings Plan.
*In an annual review (10/22/2019) of the largest 529 college savings plans (62 total), Morningstar identified 30 plans that rose above their typical peers, awarding those plans Gold, Silver, and Bronze Morningstar Analyst Ratings for 2019. These forward-looking, qualitative ratings signal Morningstar's conviction in the plans' abilities to outperform their relevant benchmark and peer groups on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. Morningstar evaluates college savings plans based on five key pillars – Process, Performance, People, Parent, and Price. For more information about Morningstar's overview of Minnesota College Savings Plan, go to Morningstar.com. Past performance does not predict future results. Source: Morningstar.com. A Morningstar Analyst Rating for a 529 college savings plan is not a credit or risk rating. Analyst ratings are subjective in nature and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions.
1The treatment of investments in a 529 savings plan varies by school. Assets are typically treated as the account holder’s and not the student’s. (Student assets are generally assessed at 20% whereas parental assets are generally assessed at 5.6%.) Any investments, including those in 529 accounts, may affect the student’s eligibility to get financial aid based on need. You should check with the schools you are considering regarding this issue.