PC529 International

COMMON QUESTIONS

International families can find the answers to our biggest FAQs here.

PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS

Which colleges and universities participate in the Plan?

Nearly 300 private colleges and universities currently participate in the Plan and are part of our network. The diverse range of colleges spans engineering and science schools, traditional liberal arts colleges, religiously affiliated schools, research universities, women’s colleges, and more.

See the full list of participating schools »

Do I need to know where my child is going to college when I open an account?
No. You don’t need to know where they’re going when you open an account. Your prepaid tuition can be used at any current or future participating school, as long as the student is accepted and enrolled.

Since tuition is different at every college, what do my contributions buy?
Every dollar you contribute, after fees, purchases Tuition Certificates that can be redeemed to pay for future tuition and mandatory fees at any of our current or future participating schools.

The amount of tuition you purchase is based on the current rate of tuition at each participating school. The percentage of a year you purchase will vary by school, based on the tuition rates for the academic year in which your certificates are purchased.

For example, if Nancy contributes $10,000 to her account for 8-year-old Ben, that equals a third of a year of tuition at College A where current annual tuition is $30,000, and a quarter of a year at College B where current annual tuition is $40,000.

No matter how much tuition increases at Colleges A and B, Nancy will always own these percentages of tuition (33.33% at College A and 25% at College B).

See the current pricing guide for member colleges »

Can I track my savings progress?
Absolutely! Your account statements report how much prepaid tuition you own for each of the sample schools you choose during enrollment.

Will more schools be added to the Plan? 
Yes. We are always adding colleges and universities to our network of nearly 300 participating schools so you have more options.

Can I use my Tuition Certificates at a school that joins the Plan after my purchase?
Yes. Schools that sign up to participate are required to honor Tuition Certificates that were purchased before the school signed on based on the tuition rate charged by that school for the academic year during which the Tuition Certificate was purchased. Participating schools guarantee Tuition Certificates for 30 years from the time of purchase, regardless of whether the school was a participating college at the time the Tuition Certificate was purchased.

Can participating colleges stop participating in the Plan?
Schools can choose to withdraw from participating in Private College 529 Plan on a prospective basis only. Withdrawing schools are obligated to honor Tuition Certificates purchased any time before the school’s withdrawal.

How do I know that a participating college will honor my Tuition Certificates? 
Our participating schools sign a contract agreeing to accept Tuition Certificates for up to 30 years from the date of purchase.

How can I be sure my child is accepted and goes to one of these schools?
Our Plan does not guarantee acceptance or admission to any college or university, in network or otherwise. Nor does it impact the admissions process.

What happens if my child gets a scholarship?
If your child receives a partial scholarship, you can still use the Tuition Certificates to cover the remaining tuition costs. If your child receives a full scholarship, you may request a refund. *

What happens if there’s money remaining in my account (not used by my child)?
You can request a full refund* of the remaining funds.

What if my child doesn’t end up going to a participating school?
If your child does not attend a participating school, you may request a refund. *

PLAN REQUIREMENTS

Who can open a Private College 529 Plan account?
Qualifying U.S. Visa holders living in the United States and qualifying Latin American citizens can enjoy the benefits of the Plan by purchasing Tuition Certificates (via a U.S. Trust) with their child as the beneficiary. You will direct the Trust to purchase Tuition Certificates for the benefit of your child.

Families in Latin America who would like to open an account should contact US College Finance, LLC at [email protected]. U.S. Visa holders can begin the enrollment process at access.pc529international.com.

What is a Tuition Certificate?
Tuition Certificates represent the amount of prepaid tuition at any of our participating schools. All contributions made to your account during a Plan Year (July 1 through June 30) are aggregated into a single Tuition Certificate. If contributions to your account are made over multiple Plan Years, your U.S. Trust will own multiple Tuition Certificates.

What can my Tuition Certificates pay for?
Tuition Certificates can be used to pay for undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees. Mandatory fees are set by colleges and universities, and in general, are required as a condition of enrollment. Neither tuition nor mandatory fees include or cover the cost of books, supplies or room and board.

How much can I contribute to a Private College 529 Plan account?
The minimum amount to open an account is $1,000 net of fees. Our maximum contribution limits change annually. The maximum contribution amount is equal to the cost of five years of full-time tuition at the most expensive participating college, which is currently $346,650 for the 2023-2024 Plan Year. The maximum balance may be recalculated or adjusted each year based on the specific Plan Year’s most expensive participating institution.

What are the fees?
Upon opening the account, there is a one-time Trust Establishment and Servicing fee of $2,000 which will establish a U.S.-based trust to manage all purchases and tuition redemptions for up to 30 years. Additionally, there is a $500 account owner compliance review fee which reviews the financial eligibility to save in the Plan and complies with any U.S. Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Client (KYC) laws. If the account owner appoints a successor account owner or changes the successor account owner, there is an additional $500 compliance review fee. If you are a Latin American resident, you may be required to pay an Acceptance Fee as part of the trust establishment. These fees will be assessed once you have been approved following the AML/KYC review.

If I want to save for multiple children, do I need an account for each child? 
Yes, you would need a separate U.S. Trust account for each child. By U.S. law, each 529 account can only be for one child (beneficiary).

How quickly can a Tuition Certificate be redeemed?
Tuition Certificates need to be held for 36 months from the issue date before they can be redeemed to pay for tuition at a participating school. The issue date is the first date during a Plan Year that a purchase of a Tuition Certificate is made.

How do I redeem a Tuition Certificate?
The redemption process is easy. Once your child enrolls at a participating college, the account owner can request to apply Tuition Certificates towards a portion of tuition and mandatory fees. Private College 529 Plan will send the funds directly to the participating college on your behalf.

How do I know how much tuition I own at participating schools? 
In your online account, you can track how much tuition you have prepaid and own at up to ten sample participating colleges at a time. Plus, your account statement reports how much tuition you have prepaid at your designated sample colleges.

What happens if an account owner or beneficiary passes away before a certificate is redeemed?
When opening an account, you must designate a beneficiary and may appoint a successor owner. Subject to AML/KYC review and qualification under applicable law, a successor account owner assumes ownership of the account with all the rights of the original account owner in the unfortunate event that the original account owner passes away. In the event of a beneficiary’s death, the account owner may request a refund.*

*You may request a full or partial refund of your account. Tuition Certificates must be held for 36 months before they are eligible to be refunded. The refunded value will be based on the amount contributed, adjusted for the net performance of the Program Trust, subject to a maximum increase of 2% per year, and a maximum loss of 2% per year (0% after July 1, 2024), compounded annually, less a 3% withdrawal fee. The refund amount will be paid from the Program Trust only. As with any 529 plan, if you do not use the money for qualified higher education expenses as defined under U.S. tax law, any increase in the value of your initial purchase amounts (the difference between your contribution amount and the amount refunded) will be subject to U.S. federal income tax withholding as well as an additional 10% U.S. tax penalty.