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How to Open an NY 529
Direct Plan Account

There are many ways to save for college. NYC Kids RISE encourages every family to choose the option that is best for them. To learn more about college savings options, click here.

One of the college savings options available to your family is the New York’s 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan.

  • A 529 account is a type of account specifically designed to help families save for collage and career training.
  • Money in a 529 account can grow over time and comes with tax benefits, including tax-free earnings and potential state income tax deductions. However, money in a 529 account is not guaranteed to grow and can lose value.
  • You should read a 529 account’s disclosure materials to understand the features and risks of your potential investment.
(Note: Earnings on nonqualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal income tax, as well as state and local income taxes. Tax and other benefits are contingent on meeting other requirements, and certain withdrawals are subject to federal, state and local taxes.)

For more information about the NY 529 Direct Plan, visit nysaves.org or call 877 NYSAVES (877-697-2837). You can also attend an upcoming Save for College Program workshop to hear more about the NY 529 Direct Plan and other college savings options. Visit the Events page for a calendar of upcoming events.

Detailed information about the NY 529 Direct Plan is available in the NY 529 Direct Plan Disclosure Booklet and Tuition Savings Agreement, or “Disclosure Booklet”.

  • You can download this document on nysaves.org.
  • This document includes investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information. You should read and consider it carefully before investing.
  • If you open an account with the NY 529 Direct Plan, you will be asked to confirm that you have received the Disclosure Booklet before opening your account.

Note: NYC Kids RISE is not affiliated with NY’s 529 College Savings Program and does not provide investment advice. NYC Kids RISE is not making a recommendation on the suitability of the NY 529 Direct Plan for you or your family. NYC Kids RISE encourages you to proceed only if you have determined that the NY 529 Direct Plan makes sense for you.

Ready to open an NY
529 Direct Plan account?

If you have decided to open an NY 529 Direct Plan
account and connect it to your child’s
NYC Scholarship account, follow the steps below.

What you need to open and connect an NY 529 Direct Plan account

  • Your NYC Kids RISE Savings Tracker username and password

  • Your own Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual
    Tax Identification Number (ITIN)

  • Your kindergartner’s SSN or ITIN

  • Your kindergartner’s home address

  • Your email address

  • Your kindergartner’s date birth

  • Recommended: The name and date of birth of someone
    who you would want to own the account in the event of your death

Both you and your kindergartner must have a valid Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number to open an NY 529 Direct Plan account.

Please note that if you choose to open your own college savings account in the NY 529 Direct Plan, you must be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien with a verified permanent U.S. address.

How to open and connect an NY 529 Direct Plan account

1. Visit nyckidsrise.org on your computer or mobile phone. Click the red button near the bottom of the screen that says View My Account.

2. If you have already registered on your Savings Tracker, click the first link on the page to log back in.

If you have not yet registered on the Savings Tracker, scroll down to the bottom, click Get Started Here, and follow the steps to register.

3. After you have registered and logged in to your Savings Tracker, scroll down the page and click Create/Connect 529 Account.

4. Read the pop-up message, and click OK if and when you are ready to continue.

Note: NYC Kids RISE is not making a recommendation on
the suitability of the NY 529 Direct Plan for you or your
family. NYC Kids RISE encourages you to proceed only if 
you have determined that the NY 529 Direct Plan makes
sense for you and your family. For more information
about the NY 529 Direct Plan, visit nysaves.org and
download the Disclosure Booklet, or call 877-NYSAVES
(877-697-2837).

5. To open a new NY 529 account: Click Enroll Now in the box toward the bottom of the login page. Go on to step 6 below.

To connect an NY 529 account you already have: If you already have an NY 529 Direct Plan account with your kindergartner listed as the beneficiary, you can connect that account to your kindergartner’s scholarship account. To do this, do not click Enroll Now. Instead, fill in your nysaves.org username under the words Sign in. Once you have signed in, skip to step 20 of this guide.

6. Enter the information for the Account Owner, including name, phone number, and email address. Also create a password. Then click Get Started.

  • The Account Owner is the person who will own and make decisions about this college savings account.
  • In order to be the Account Owner on the account, you must be a US citizen or legal resident alien and have a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
  • There can only be one Account Owner on an account. This can be any adult, including a parent, guardian, grandparent, or other.

7. Have you already started an application but not finished it?

  • Click Login next to the words “Already have an enrollment in progress?” and enter your username and password.
  • Continue the application from where you left off.

8. Select how you heard about the NY 529 Direct Plan and click Continue Enrollment.

9. Enter the Account Owner’s address and press Continue.

  • For more information on this and other steps, click the Tips button toward the bottom right of the screen.

10. Enter the Account Owner’s Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), birth date, and citizenship status.

NY 529 is required to ask for this information to identify each person who opens an account. If you don’t provide the information, they may not be able to open your account.
If you do not have this information, remember that friends and family can also open an account for your child. Contact NYC Kids RISE for more information.

11. Decide on the Beneficiary and fill in the requested information. Then press Continue.

  • The Beneficiary is the child who can use the money in the account for qualified education expenses.
  • For example, your kindergartner is the beneficiary on their NYC Scholarship Account.
  • If you plan to connect this NY 529 Direct Plan account to the NYC Scholarship Account, the same child must be listed as the beneficiary on both accounts.
  • You will need to provide the Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number and street address for the Beneficiary of this account. Or select Mailing Address is the same as the account owner if the Account Owner and Beneficiary have the same address.

12. Decide on the Successor Account Owner and fill in that person’s name and date of birth. Then press Continue.

  • The Successor Account Owner is the person the Account Owner names to own and control the NY 529 Direct Plan account if the Account Owner dies.
  • There can only be one Successor Account Owner on an account.
  • This step is optional and recommended, but not required!

13. Choose your investment strategy.

  • The first step is to decide between “Age Based” or “Custom Portfolio”
  • Click on each icon to learn more about the different choices
  • Note: You can change the investment options up to two times per calendar year.
  • For more information about the investment options, go to nysaves.org and click “Which investments should I choose?”
Note: NYC Kids RISE cannot offer any guidance on the
various investment options available or which may be
suitable for you.

14. Click Next after you select one or more investments from the different options (age-based and individual portfolios) described in the Disclosure Booklet.

15. Choose how you would like to fund your account.
A Funding Source is where the money in the 529 account is coming from:

  • Bank Account
  • Payroll
  • Check
  • Rollover from another account or transfer from another account

You do not have to make a deposit to open an account.

  • To open your account without making a deposit, select the “Check” option and click Continue.

You can deposit as little or as much as you would like. There is no minimum amount.

Clicking on each option tells you the information you need to use that funding source.
You can choose under each of the options to make it either a one-time deposit or a recurring deposit.

16. Once you make your selection and fill in the requested information, click Continue.

Remember, an additional $25 will be added to your child’s NYC Scholarship account if you make a deposit of at least $5 into your NY 529 Direct Plan account.

17. Choose whether you would like to open another 529 account for a different beneficiary, or child.

  • If so, click Yes, Add Another Beneficiary and return to Step 9 and complete the process again for the new child.
  • If not, click No, Let’s Finish Up and continue to Step 16.

18. Create a Username and Password

  • Create a Username and Password so that you can log into your account in the future.
  • Make this password something you
    can easily remember. You will need it to log back in.
  • Keep this information secure and do
    not share it with anyone else.

19. Select and answer three security questions.

20. Select a Security Image and give it a name so that you will easily remember it. Once you are done, click Continue.

20. Activate your Ugift Code by making sure the check mark is filled in. Then press Continue.

  • Ugift allows your friends and family add to your child’s 529 account.
  • Saving for college is easier with the help of friends and family!

21. Choose how you would like to receive information about your account from NY 529, and review the electronic delivery information. Then press Continue.

22. Review your application to make sure it is correct.

  • Review all of the information you entered. Correct any mistakes.
  • Confirm you have received the Disclosure Booklet.
  • You should read these materials to fully understand the features and risks of an investment in the NY 529 Direct Plan.

23. Click Sign to confirm you have read and agree to NY Direct Plan Disclosure Booklet and Tuition Savings Agreement terms and are ready to open an account.

Congratulations, you have opened your NY 529 Direct Plan Account!

24. Now that you have completed your account enrollment, you should see an authorization page. This is where you can connect your new NY 529 Direct Plan account to your child’s NYC Scholarship Account. This will allow you to view the balance (the amount of money) of both accounts on your Savings Tracker. 

  • You need to connect your accounts to get the $25 reward added to your child’s NYC Scholarship Account.

Carefully review this authorization page and click I Authorize when you are ready.

25. Once you are taken back to your Savings Tracker, your account has been connected!

Your new account will appear under Your College Savings Accounts within 24 hours.
If your new account does not appear under “Your College Savings Accounts” within 24 hours, please call the NYC Kids RISE hotline at 833-543-7374.

If you have questions about the NY 529 Direct Plan enrollment process, you can call NY 529 at 877-NYSAVES (877-697-2837).

 

The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program is a scholarship and savings program administered by NYC Kids RISE, Inc., a nonprofit, in partnership with the NYC Department of Education and the City of New York. NYC Kids RISE is neither affiliated with, nor an authorized distributor of, New York’s 529 College Savings Program and does not solicit investments or provide investment advice. The City of New York and the NYC Department of Education offer no endorsement or recommendation about, and do not control, own or are affiliated with the NY 529 Program Manager and any particular college savings or other investment vehicle, including ones which families may learn about through the Save for College Program.

 

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