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529 College Savings Plan Account

—What You Can & Can’t Pay For

By Michael Bischoff, CFP®

Fall means that the football season has begun but also means the college students need to pay expensive tuition bills. It is my personal experience that the Bischoff kids don’t give much needed notice to make qualified withdrawals from their 529 plans.

Qualified Expenses Include:


  • Tuition for both full and part-time students at accredited institutions

  • Room and Board including dorm rooms and other off campus living quarters as long as it is limited to the college’s Cost Of Attendance (COA)

  • Computers and peripheral equipment such as tablets, laptops, printers, internet access and necessary software

  • Special needs resources for students that have a disability and need accommodations

Non-Qualified Expenses Include:


  • Cell phones and data plans

  • Transportation expenses (daily campus travel or traveling home for a holiday)

  • Health insurance & medical bills

  • School memberships (sororities, fraternities, sports or gyms)

  • Student loan repayments

Side note: The Minnesota College Saving Plan (MCSP) is currently advertising up to a $500 account credit based on a qualifying account opening balance. On the surface this looks appealing but WFG continues to recommend the Fidelity Unique College Savings Plan because of its low internal costs and investment performance. Within the fine print, the MCSP costs are much higher and it also has a Minnesota administration fee that’s paid directly to the state—making us the land of 10,001 taxes!!!

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