Money Magazine recently ranked North Carolina's 529 Plan as one of three top picks of state college savings plans.
In its October issue, the publication highlighted plans in North Carolina, Delaware and Utah saying "These 529s, all with ultralow fees and age-based portfolio options, are top picks for college savers shopping nationally. Even though many states offer resident tax perks, those breaks can't always make up for high fees."
In April, the NC 529 Plan added a new investment option to its selection of individual and age-based choices: the Federally Insured Deposit Account made available by the $21 billion State Employees' Credit Union. North Carolina's college savings program is maintained by the NC State Education Assistance Authority and administered by College Foundation Inc. on their behalf.
Whether a North Carolina taxpayer is an NC 529 account owner or contributing to someone else's account, his or her contributions of up to $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for joint filers per year are eligible for a state tax deduction. The account earnings are also free from federal and state taxes as long as college savings are used for qualified higher education expenses such as tuition, room and board, books, fees and required equipment. Money in an NC 529 account can be used at almost any four-year or two-year college, in-state or out-of-state.