Wisconsin College Savings Program Surpasses $5 Billion Mark

Edvest and Tomorrow’s Scholar continue to play an important role in helping families save for higher education.

The Wisconsin College Savings Program reached an important milestone in the new year, eclipsing the $5 billion mark in assets as of January 3, 2018. Edvest, Wisconsin’s direct-sold college savings plan, surpassed $3 billion in assets in late-2017. Along with Tomorrow’s Scholar, the state’s advisor-sold plan, college savers have invested more than $5.008 billion in the Wisconsin College Savings Program. The continued growth of both programs reinforces the state’s commitment to helping families save for higher education.

“We want to make sure Wisconsin families have the financial vehicles they need to make college a reality,” said Jay Risch, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. “529 plans like Edvest and Tomorrow’s Scholar are attractive to investors because of their low fees and tax advantages. We’re thrilled that Wisconsin families are utilizing these tools to ensure future college education for their children.”

Edvest is Wisconsin’s direct-sold 529 college savings plan designed for families who want to direct their own 529 college savings accounts. Edvest, which is managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., currently has 166,326 accounts with approximately $3.1 billion in assets.

Tomorrow’s Scholar 529 Plan is offered through financial advisors and is managed by Voya Investment Management. The program offers a flexible, multi-manager investment approach and has 118,421 accounts with more than $1.9 billion in assets.

“The growth we’re seeing in Edvest and Tomorrow’s Scholar is a great indicator that Wisconsin families are serious about saving for college,” Risch stated and added, “According to a recent study, 65 percent of jobs nationwide will require postsecondary education and training by 2020. In Wisconsin alone that number is 61 percent through 2018. We want to make sure Wisconsin families have access to sound financial tools so their kids are ready for tomorrow’s workforce.”

In addition to experiencing significant growth in 2017, Edvest and Tomorrow’s Scholar received numerous accolades from industry-leading sources. SavingforCollege.com recently ranked Edvest as one of the Top 10 in one- and three-year 529 Plan Performance, and awarded the program a 5-Cap Rating for “outstanding flexibility, attractive investments and additional economic benefits” (SavingforCollege.com, What the Ratings Mean, 12/22/2017). Edvest also received a bronze rating from Morningstar, Inc..

Tomorrow’s Scholar is ranked in the Top 10 of Advisor-Sold plans based on investment performance over three years as of September 30, 2017 and was awarded a 4½-Cap Rating for residents for reliability by Savingforcollege.com. Voya also received the prestigious DALBAR award for 529 servicing for the third year in a row.

For more information about Edvest or to open an account, visit Edvest.com.  Edvest’s college savings specialists also are available Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. toll-free at (888) 338-3789.

For information about Tomorrow’s Scholar, visit Tomorrowsscholar.com or call (866) 677-6933 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. or speak with your financial advisor.

 

About Edvest

Edvest is Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Plan designed to help families save for higher education expenses. Account owners can choose from 17 investment portfolios, enjoy one of the lowest cost 529 plans in the U.S., and take advantage of in-state tax benefits for Wisconsin residents.

About Tomorrow’s Scholar

Tomorrow’s Scholar is an advisor-sold 529 college savings plan sponsored by the State of Wisconsin and distributed nationwide. Tomorrow’s Scholar provides families with flexible means to save and invest for a child’s college education while taking advantage of multiple tax and estate benefits. Working with a Financial Advisor, families can tailor a portfolio to their particular situation with investments that feature some of the largest and most respected asset management firms.

 

12017 Plan Performance Rankings Q3, Savingforcollege.com, 12/8/2017. Edvest ranking is based on a performance score calculated by investment performance for 51 direct-sold 529 plans (1-year ranking) and 48 direct-sold 529 plans (3-year ranking). The Savingforcollege.com plan composite rankings are derived using the plans’ relevant portfolio performance in seven unique asset allocation categories. The asset-allocation categories used are: 100 percent equity, 80 percent equity, 60 percent equity, 40 percent equity, 20 percent equity, 100 percent fixed and 100 percent short term. The plan composite ranking is determined by the average of its percentile ranking in the seven categories. Past performance does not predict future results.

2Savingforcollege.com, July 12, 2017.The Edvest College Savings Plan received a 5-Cap Rating for Wisconsin residents and 4.5-Cap Rating for non-residents. A 5-Cap Ratings represents the attractiveness of a 529 plan, relative to all other 529 plans, by assigning an overall rating to each 529 program ranging from 1 Cap (least attractive) to 5 Caps (most attractive). 5-Cap Ratings represent an assessment based on many considerations such as flexibility, liquidity and availability, ownership rights, state benefits, investment approach and safety, program resources and financial aid impact. It is not strictly a measure of historical returns, and it is not a predictor of future investment performance, level of investment risk or financial solvency of the program funds. These ratings are not the result of a fixed formula and a significant portion of the analysis is subjective. Before establishing a 529 account and making contributions, it is imperative that investors read and understand all enrollment materials and disclosures from the programs.

3In an annual review (10/24/2017) of the largest 529 college-savings plans (62 total), Morningstar identified 34 plans that rose above their typical peers, awarding those plans Gold, Silver, and Bronze Morningstar Analyst Ratings for 2017. 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 Edvest go to 529.morningstar.com/edvest. Past performance does not predict future results. Source: morningstar.com/news

4Savingforcollege.com, July 12, 2017. The Tomorrow’s Scholar College Savings Plan received a 4.5-Cap Rating for Wisconsin residents and 4-Cap Rating for non-residents. A 5-Cap Ratings represents the attractiveness of a 529 plan, relative to all other 529 plans, by assigning an overall rating to each 529 program ranging from 1 Cap (least attractive) to 5 Caps (most attractive). 5-Cap Ratings represent an assessment based on many considerations such as flexibility, liquidity and availability, ownership rights, state benefits, investment approach and safety, program resources and financial aid impact. It is not strictly a measure of historical returns, and it is not a predictor of future investment performance, level of investment risk or financial solvency of the program funds. These ratings are not the result of a fixed formula and a significant portion of the analysis is subjective. Before establishing a 529 account and making contributions, it is imperative that investors read and understand all enrollment materials and disclosures from the programs.

5Dalbar.com, Dalbar Service Award for 2016.

TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, distributor and underwriter for the Wisconsin College Savings Plan. Neither TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., nor its affiliates, are responsible for the content found on any external website links contained herein.

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