Compare the Maryland 529 Plans

Compare the Maryland 529 Plans

See the plans side by side.

The Maryland Prepaid College Trust and the Maryland College Investment Plan make saving for college easy and affordable.

Each one can be a smart decision, so how do you pick just one? The good news is that you don’t have to! Depending on your individual needs, budget, and goals, you can choose one or both plans.

So how do they differ? Read the Maryland 529 plan comparison chart to get the answers to many of the questions people just like you ask us everyday!

Maryland Prepaid College Trust

Maryland College Investment Plan

How can I use the Plans?

You can use the Prepaid College Trust to pay the full in-state or in-county tuition and mandatory fees at any Maryland public college or up to the Weighted Average Tuition toward nearly any private or out-of-state college.

You can use the College Investment Plan at nearly any public, private, or technical college nationwide for any eligible higher education expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board, books, course-specific fees or supplies.

What’s unique about each Plan?

The Prepaid College Trust lets you lock in tomorrow’s tuition at today’s prices, and it is backed by a Maryland Legislative Guarantee.

The College Investment Plan allows you to choose from a variety of investment options ranging from more aggressive to more conservative investment strategies. Your investment return and principal value will vary, depending on the investment option you choose.

What are the Maryland tax benefits?

Any earnings are Maryland tax-free when used toward eligible college expenses. Each account holder or contributor may also deduct up to $2,500 of payments each year from Maryland income per account—$5,000 for two, $7,500 for three, etc. Payments in excess of $2,500 per account can be deducted in future years until the full amount of payments has been deducted.

Any earnings are Maryland tax-free when used toward eligible college expenses. Each account holder or contributor may also deduct up to $2,500 of contributions each year from Maryland income per beneficiary—$5,000 for two, $7,500 for three, etc. Contributions in excess of $2,500 can be deducted for up to the next 10 years. Contributions in following years could be eligible for deduction; however, you cannot deduct more than $2,500 per beneficiary in any year or extend the 10-year limit on each year’s contribution.

Are there federal tax benefits?

Yes. Any earnings are federally tax-free when used toward eligible college expenses.

Yes. Any earnings are federally tax-free when used toward eligible college expenses.

What are the age requirements?

Enrollment is open to children from newborn through 12th grade, although accounts must be open for at least three years before tuition benefits can be paid.

Enrollment is open to children and adults of any age.

Do I have to be a Maryland resident?

Either the account holder or the beneficiary must be a resident of Maryland or Washington, D.C. when the account is opened.

No. There are no state residency requirements.

When can I enroll?

Generally, enrollment is open between December and early April of each year. Enrollment is open year round for newborns.

Any time.

What are my Plan options?

There are a variety of tuition plans:

  • One semester, or one to four years at a four-year college
  • One or two years at a community college
  • Combination

You may change your tuition plan at nearly any time.

You can invest in enrollment-based portfolios, fixed portfolios, or a combination of each. Each time you make a contribution, you have the opportunity to select a new portfolio.

What are my payment or contribution options?

There are many different payment options. You can select the one that’s right for your family budget. The cost is fixed by the number of semesters or years purchased, age of child, and payment plan selected. You may change your payment options at any time.

You can start with as little as $25 per month, per portfolio through automatic monthly contributions or with a $250 minimum initial investment per portfolio.

How much can I contribute?

You can purchase up to seven years at a four-year college per beneficiary, with no more than four years on a single account.

You can invest up to a maximum account balance of $350,000 per beneficiary.

What are the fees and expenses?

Visit the Prices and Fees pages or for more details consult the Prices and Fees section of the Prepaid College Trust Disclosure Statement for information on all applicable fees and expenses

Visit the Investment Options and Fees pages or for more details consult the Fees and Expenses section of the College Investment Plan Disclosure Statement that contains information on all applicable fees and expenses.

Why would I choose both plans?

Choosing both Plans allows you to benefit from the features of each Plan and lets you diversify your higher education savings. You could use the Prepaid College Trust towards tuition and mandatory fees and the College Investment Plan towards room and board, books, or additional tuition at private or out-of-state colleges. By investing in both Plans, you may also be eligible for an additional Maryland State income deduction.