Compare 529 college savings plans

Many 529 savings plans feature Vanguard funds and/or investment management. Choose a plan associated with Vanguard and compare it with other 529 savings plans.

State tax benefits may not apply to K-12 tuition. This tool displays the state benefits for qualified higher education expenses. However, it's less clear whether account owners can receive a state tax break for K-12 tuition expenses. To find out if you qualify for a state benefit for K-12 tuition, check the state where you pay state income tax—even if another state sponsors your 529 plan. You should consult your tax advisor for further guidance.

Your results
General
Bright Start® College Savings Program (Direct-sold) (IL) CollegeCounts 529 Fund (AL)
State sponsor Illinois Alabama
Program manager Union Bank & Trust Company UBT 529 Services, a division of Union Bank & Trust Company
Investment manager/​underlying investments Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, DFA, Dodge & Cox, BlackRock, Baird Funds, Ariel Investments, Oppenheimer Funds, Dreyfus, Nuveen and PGIM Investments.
  • PIMCO
  • Vanguard
  • T. Rowe Price
  • Fidelity
  • DFA
  • MainStay
  • Dodge & Cox
Residency required None None
How to purchase Enroll directly with the program.
State benefits & tax information
Bright Start® College Savings Program (Direct-sold) (IL) CollegeCounts 529 Fund (AL)
Maximum annual state deduction Illinois allows state residents to deduct annual contributions they make to any Illinois 529 plan from their state income taxes. There is an annual deduction limit of $10,000 for an individual taxpayer and $20,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly. Alabama allows state residents to deduct annual contributions they make to any Alabama 529 plan from their state income taxes. There is an annual deduction limit of $5,000 for an individual taxpayer and $10,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly.
Are qualified distributions from in-state plans state-tax exempt? Yes Yes
Are qualified distributions from out-of-state plans state-tax exempt? Yes No
State tax treatment of rollovers State follows federal tax treatment for rollovers with some exceptions. Outbound rollovers are subject to the recapture of prior state tax deductions taken. State does not follow federal tax treatment for rollovers.
Tax recapture provisions The principal portion of the non-qualified withdrawals and outbound rollovers will be subject to recapture to the extent of prior state tax deductions. The amount of the non-qualified withdrawal and outbound rollover plus 10 percent of this amount, will be subject to recapture to the extent of prior Alabama tax deductions.
Fees & expenses
Bright Start® College Savings Program (Direct-sold) (IL) CollegeCounts 529 Fund (AL)
Enrollment None. None.
Maintenance None None
Total asset-based expense ratio
  • Age-based options: 0.17% - 0.64%
  • Static/individual options: 0.17% - 0.65%
  • Age-based options: 0.29% - 0.32%
  • Static/individual options: 0.27% - 0.88%
Contributions
Bright Start® College Savings Program (Direct-sold) (IL) CollegeCounts 529 Fund (AL)
Minimum contributions
  • Minimum initial contribution: $25
  • Minimum subsequent contribution: $15
    No minimums
Maximum funding amount Accepts contributions for a given beneficiary until Illinois 529 account balances reach $450,000 Accepts contributions for a given beneficiary until Alabama 529 account balances reach $475,000
Investment options
Bright Start® College Savings Program (Direct-sold) (IL) CollegeCounts 529 Fund (AL)
Summary of investment options
Age-based portfolios
2 age-based options
  • Blended Portfolios (6 portfolios)
  • Index Portfolios (6 portfolios)
3 age-based options
  • Aggressive Portfolios (9 portfolios)
  • Moderate Portfolios (9 portfolios)
  • Conservative Portfolios (9 portfolios)
Individual portfolios
8 static/individual portfolios
  • 7 multi-fund portfolios
  • 1 individual-fund portfolio
31 static/individual portfolios
  • 6 multi-fund portfolios
  • 25 individual-fund portfolios
Other features
Bright Start® College Savings Program (Direct-sold) (IL) CollegeCounts 529 Fund (AL)
Formal agreement with rewards program or outside scholarship program? None Yes, CollegeCounts 529 Rewards Visa Card rewards 1.529% on qualified purchase.
Creditor protection Under Illinois law, effective June 1, 2008, moneys held in an Illinois 529 account shall be exempt from all claims of the creditors of the participant, donor, or designated beneficiary of that account, except for certain fraudulent conveyances, for contributions during the 365 day period prior to filing for bankruptcy that in the aggregate are in excess of the amount of the annual gift tax exclusion, and for contributions during the 730 to 366 day period prior to filing for bankruptcy that in the aggregate are in excess of the amount of the annual gift tax exclusion. None
Time or age restrictions None None
Contact information
Bright Start® College Savings Program (Direct-sold) (IL) CollegeCounts 529 Fund (AL)
Telephone 1-877-432-7444 1-866-529-2228
Web address https://www.brightstart.com/ http://www.collegecounts529.com/
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