Top Reasons to Save with TNStars

The cost of higher education is on the rise, but saving for college doesn’t have to be a burden. With TNStars College Savings 529 Program, there’s no big upfront investment and you can open an account in as little 15 minutes. You can feel good about investing in your child’s future with one of the top-performing plans in the country.

TNStars is a “direct-sold” plan. That means lower fees and an account you set up and maintain. TNStars is a plan that you can manage yourself, on your own time, in your own home. However, just because you can do everything yourself doesn’t mean you’re alone—quite the opposite in fact!

The program is managed by the Tennessee Treasury Department who works to monitor investment options and keep costs low so you can save even more. Should you have questions, our customer service team is just a call or email away. We also offer tools to help you prepare, plan and select the option that is right for you.

The key to successful saving is to begin early. TNStars makes it easy to get started and continue to build your savings. It’s easy! You can open an account online in minutes with as little as $25. Once you open your account, making contributions is simple with the Automatic Investment Plan option that lets you contribute the amount you want, when you want. TNStars also offers gifting opportunities so that friends and family can contribute directly and easily to your account.

We strive to make sure your child has choices when it comes time for them to apply for college. What do we mean when we say “choices?”

“Choices” means that, when you open an account with TNStars, you are not limited in where you can spend your money. You can choose from many educational institutions, including public or private, regardless of whether it’s in-state, out-of-state, or in another country. Money can also be used at community colleges and technical schools. Give your child the flexibility to choose their own path, whether that keeps them close to home, or sends them around the world!

We all know that a lot more goes into paying for college than just tuition. Housing, school supplies, textbooks, computers—these all cost money. The money you save through your TNStars account can be used to pay for many expenses that directly support your child’s education, from textbooks to rent to college fees. Learn more about qualified expenses in our frequently asked questions.

Saving money for your child’s college education is a financial investment, and we would encourage you to treat it as such. That’s why TNStars offers multiple investment options and competitive returns. Tennessee Treasury Department employed the financial expertise of its investment professionals when it developed TNStars. Our experienced financial team has compiled a portfolio of diverse investment options to meet the needs of families. You can choose an investment option based on your timetable and comfort level with risk.

With TNStars, your money isn’t sitting idle -it’s working for you.

Click Here For An Infographic On How Your TNStars Account Could Grow

When you make a gift to that special child in your life - whether a grandchild, niece, nephew,  godchild or friend’s child -  you do it to help them succeed. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the special tax advantages TNStars offers you.

  • Earnings are tax free when used for qualified higher education expenses
  • TNStars contributions qualify for the annual federal gift tax exclusion.
    • While the account holder maintains complete control of the account, contributions are considered a completed gift to the beneficiary.
    • An individual can contribute up to $14,000 per year, per beneficiary without incurring federal gift tax. For joint filers, that doubles to $28,000.
    • You can also “superfund” your TNStars account. Under special rules unique to 529 plans, you can gift a lump sum in a given year--up to $70,000 for individual and $140,000 for joint filers and avoid federal gift tax by making an election to treat the gift as if it were made evenly over a five-year period.
Learn More About Gift Tax

The Tennessee Treasury Department started TNStars with the goal of helping all Tennesseans save for college. To encourage college savings across our State, we periodically offers monetary incentives for Tennessee residents throughout the year. These incentives are often available to both current and new account holders.

In addition to incentives, Tennessee Treasury Department also offers a matching grant program for Tennessee families meeting certain income eligibility requirements. Through its Tennessee Investments Preparing Scholars (TIPS) program, the State provides a 4-to-1 matching contribution to qualifying families with a TNStars account and a beneficiary enrolled in the TIPS program. For every $25 contributed to the account, the State will invest $100 into the account. Beneficiaries can receive a maximum match of $500 per year for up to three years.

Learn More About TIPS

Learn More About Incentives


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Start saving now and choose the plan that grows with your child. TNStars makes saving for college easy. Get Started now with just $25.

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