Quick facts on 529s.

529s explained

A 529 Plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution and designed to help families set aside funds for education. It's named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which created these types of savings plans in 1996.

Tax benefits

  • Tax-deferred earnings and tax-free withdrawals for qualified expenses1
  • State income tax deduction for Idaho taxpayers of up to $6,000 ($12,000 married, filing jointly) per year from adjusted gross income2  
  • Estate planning advantages: reduce your personal taxable estate by making five years' worth of gifts (up to $85,000; $170,000 married, filing jointly) in one lump sum3
  • 20% tax credit for Idaho employers of up to $500 per employee, per year for contributions made to the employee’s IDeal account4


Qualified withdrawals from a 529 account can be used toward1:

K-12: Tuition only. Withdrawals are limited to tuition payments up to $10,000 per year, per student.

Higher education:

  • tuition
  • certain room and board costs
  • mandatory fees
  • books and supplies
  • computer software and internet access

Funds can be used at any K-12 public, private or religious school and at any eligible higher education institution anywhere in the country, not just in Idaho, including5:

  • 2- or 4-year colleges or universities
  • vocational/technical schools
  • career retraining schools
  • dual credit courses
  • graduate schools

Apprenticeship programs: Expenses required for participation in a program registered and certified with the Secretary of Labor under the National Apprenticeship Act.

  • fees
  • books and supplies
  • required equipment

Student loan repayments: Principal or interest on any qualified education loan of the Beneficiary or a sibling of the Beneficiary, up to $10,000 lifetime, per individual.6


Anyone can take advantage of a 529 account. There are NO income or age limits for beneficiaries.

Professional management

Investments are managed by The Vanguard Group, Inc., a leader in low-cost investing.

Three investment options

  • Target Enrollment Portfolios: Portfolios will automatically shift from a growth-oriented allocation to a more conservative mix based on the year the beneficiary is expected to enter their education program.
  • Fixed Asset Allocation Portfolios: covers the spectrum of investment styles, from aggressive growth to conservative Money Market funds; your investments don't change until you say so
  • Savings Portfolio: a lower-risk, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured option for account owners seeking a conservative investment choice; managed by Sallie Mae Bank

Low fees

  • No commissions, loads, or sales charges
  • Total annual asset based fee: 0.36% ($3.60 per $1,000 invested); the $20 annual account fee is waived if the account owner or beneficiary is an Idaho resident
  • Savings Portfolio fee: 0.34% ($3.40 per $1,000 invested)

High maximum

Using IDeal 529 accounts, you can save up to $500,000 for each beneficiary.

Grow your savings with:

Customer support

Available at 866.433.2533, Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mountain Time

$25 to start

  • Open an account (by check) for just $25
  • Contribute automatically for as little as $25/month or $75/quarter ($15 with payroll direct deposit, where available)

Easy to enroll

  1. Open an account after reading about the plan's features and benefits. You'll be asked to choose:
    • a beneficiary (the future student)
    • how you'll be contributing
    • how you'd like your money to be invested (see below)
  2. Choose an investment option that's right for you.
  3. Start saving. Even small, regular contributions can add up over time.

1 Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals are subject to federal income tax and may be subject to a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.

2 Contributions to the IDeal - Idaho College Savings Program are deductible from Idaho state income tax, subject to recapture in certain circumstances, such as a non-qualified withdrawal or a rollover to another state's qualified tuition program in the year of the rollover and the prior tax year.

3 In the event you do not survive the five-year period, a pro-rated amount will revert back to your taxable estate.

4 The employee may not take an Idaho state income tax deduction for contributions made by his/her employer.

5 An eligible institution is one that is eligible for federal financial aid programs.

6 Note: if you make an education loan repayment from your Account, you may not also take a federal income tax deduction for any interest included in that education loan repayment.

Important Legal Information

By clicking on one of the social media icons, you are leaving the IDeal website, maintained by Ascensus, and are being redirected to a social media site solely maintained by the State College Savings Program Board (“Board”). Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC, the program manager for IDeal, does not monitor or endorse the Board's social media activities. All IDeal social media activities are the sole responsibility of the Board.

Mr. Thiros is a registered representative of Ascensus Broker Dealer Services LLC, 877-529-2980, 95 Wells Ave, Newton MA (member FINRA/SIPC) and is not employed by the State of Idaho.

For more information about IDeal - Idaho College Savings Program ("IDeal"), call 866-433-2533  click here to obtain a Disclosure Statement. The Disclosure Statement discusses investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information. Because investing in IDeal is an important decision for you and your family, you should read and consider the Disclosure Statement carefully before investing.

Please Note: Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. You should also consult your financial, tax, or other advisor to learn more about how state-based benefits (or any limitations) would apply to your specific circumstances. You also may wish to contact directly your home state’s 529 college savings plan(s), or any other 529 plan, to learn more about those plans’ features, benefits, and limitations. Keep in mind that state-based benefits should be one of many appropriately weighted factors to be considered when making an investment decision.

IDeal is administered by the State College Savings Program Board ("Board"). ABD, the program manager, and its affiliates, have overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations, including investment advisory, recordkeeping and administrative services, and marketing. The Vanguard Group, Inc. ("Vanguard") serves as Investment Manager for IDeal. Sallie Mae Bank serves as the Savings Portfolio Manager for IDeal. IDeal's Portfolios invest in either: (i) mutual funds and a separate account offered or managed by Vanguard; or (ii) an FDIC-insured omnibus savings account held in trust by the Board at Sallie Mae Bank. Except for the Savings Portfolio, investments in IDeal are not insured by the FDIC. Units of the Portfolios are municipal securities and the value of units will vary with market conditions.

Investment returns will vary depending upon the performance of the Portfolios you choose. Except to the extent of FDIC insurance available for the Savings Portfolio, you could lose all or a portion of your money by investing in IDeal, depending on market conditions. Account Owners assume all investment risks as well as responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences.

Not FDIC-Insured (except for the Savings Portfolio). No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee. May lose value.