PC529 International

Our story

"Private College 529 Plan has provided U.S. families with a college savings solution for 20 years. We look forward to opening a new chapter of our story by welcoming international families to the plan."
- Bob Cole, President & CEO


In 2003, a group of colleges and universities created a 529 plan to help families save on the future cost of tuition, what would be called Private College 529 Plan. Twenty years later, our purpose remains the same, and our membership has grown to include nearly 300 institutions — all uniquely their own, all committed to affordability.

For families, this means there are plenty of options in schools. Plus, every family’s prepaid tuition is guaranteed because our schools own the plan — something that sets us apart from any other 529 plan.


The first prepaid college savings vehicle is established.

U.S. Congress enacts Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.

U.S. Congress passes legislation making qualified distributions from 529 plans tax-exempt and permitting “colleges and their consortia” to sponsor prepaid tuition plans.

Private College 529 Plan launches under the name Independent 529.

BusinessWeek magazine recognizes the plan on its Best Products of 2003 list.

The plan has 863 accounts and over $8 million in assets by the end of the year.

The first Tuition Certificate is redeemed by a family at Baylor University in Texas.

The plan has 257 participating colleges, 5,000 accounts, and $106 million in assets by the end of the year.

Our name changes from Independent 529 to Private College 529 Plan.

Private College 529 Plan grows the number of participating colleges to 290.

Private College 529 Plan introduces CollegeWell with online resources and expert guidance on saving and paying for college.

Private College 529 celebrates 20 years and is featured in The Wall Street Journal. By July 1, the plan has over 7,500 accounts and $345 million in assets.

Board of Directors

Ed Kania
Chair of the Board
Rollins College

Kim Downs-Burns
Vice Chair of the Board
Middlebury College

Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings
Secretary and Treasurer
Oberlin College

Thomas Bear
Rose-Hulman Institute
of Technology

Rakesh Dahiya
Southern Methodist University

F. Robert Huth, Jr.
Stetson University – Retired

Jason Knoch
Princeton University

Ralph Kuncl
University of Redlands – Retired

Patricia Langer
Macalester College

John Latting
Emory University

Phil Levine
Wellesley College

Thomas McWhorter
Northeastern University

Mary Nucciarone
University of Notre Dame

Fred Rogers
Carleton College – Retired

Audrey Smith
Smith College – Retired

Ronne’ Patrick Turner
Washington University in St. Louis

Tim Warner
Stanford University

Lori White
DePauw University

Executive Team

Bob Cole
CEO & President

Kimberly Woolridge
Director of Operations

Joanne Dashiell
Chief Marketing Officer

Jonathan Sparling
VP Strategic Partnerships

Amy Perry
Creative Director