Research

Washington, DC, March 23, 2021 — The combined assets of all Section 529 plans—“qualified tuition programs” designed to help save for higher education expenses—were $425.2 billion at the end of December 2020, an increase of 14.5 percent since year-end 2019. At the end of December 2020, savings plans held $397.8 billion, while prepaid plans accounted for another $27.4 billion.

529 Plan Assets
Billions of dollars, end-of-period, 2005–2020

Note: Data were estimated for a few individual state observations in the early years in order to construct a continuous time series.

Sources: Investment Company Institute and College Savings Plans Network

Number of Section 529 Plan Accounts

The number of Section 529 plan accounts was 14.8 million at the end of December 2020, an increase of 4.0 percent since year-end 2019. There were 13.8 million savings plan accounts and 1.0 million prepaid plan accounts at the end of December 2020.

529 Plan Accounts
Millions of accounts/contracts, end-of-period, 2005–2020

Note: A single beneficiary may have more than one account. Starting in 2005, the survey requests number of unique beneficiaries where possible. Accounts data collected prior to 2009 cannot be compared to newer data due to a change in the data collection methodology.

Sources: Investment Company Institute and College Savings Plans Network

For additional information on 529 plans, see ICI’s Frequently Asked Questions About 529 Plans.  For additional 529 plan data, please contact the College Savings Plans Network.