FAQs

An account may be opened by an individual, certain entities (including a partnership, corporation, estate or association that is domiciled in the United States), a custodian under a state’s UGMA or UTMA statute or a trust to save for the Federal Qualified Higher Education Expenses of a Beneficiary. An account may also be established by a state or local government or a tax-exempt organization described in Code Section 501(c)(3) as part of a scholarship program operated by the government or organization. Each account owner must have a Social Security number or taxpayer identification number and a residential U.S. street address.
To open an account, contact your financial advisor directly for specific instructions and assistance.
The Beneficiary is the individual for whom Federal Qualified Higher Education Expenses are expected to be paid from the account. Any individual with a valid Social Security number or taxpayer identification number can be a Beneficiary. A Beneficiary can be of any age and need not be a resident of the State of Nebraska or of the United States. Each account may have only one Beneficiary, but different account owners may establish different accounts for the same Beneficiary. An account owner may also name himself or herself as the Beneficiary.
An account owner may change the Beneficiary at any time without adverse federal income tax consequences if the new Beneficiary is a Member of the Family of the former Beneficiary. Upon a change in Beneficiary, the account owner may also change the Investment Options in which the account is invested. However, upon a change of Beneficiary, the existing assets plus the assets moved to the new Beneficiary’s account cannot result in the total account values in all accounts in the Trust for the new Beneficiary to exceed the Maximum Contribution Limit.
Contributions can be made to an account by:
  • Contributing electronically from your bank account
  • Checks
  • Wire transfer
  • Payroll direct deposit
  • Rollover from an out-of-state 529 qualified tuition program
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account
  • Redemption from certain U.S. Savings Bonds
  • Transfers within the Plan
  • UGMA or UTMA accounts
  • NEST GiftED

Contributions by an account owner who files a Nebraska state income tax return, including the principal and earnings portions of rollovers from an out-of-state 529 qualified tuition program, are deductible in computing the account owner’s Nebraska taxable income for Nebraska income tax purposes in an amount not to exceed $10,000 ($5,000 for married taxpayers filing separate returns) in the aggregate for all contributions to all accounts within the Trust in any taxable year. Contributions by a custodian of an UGMA or UTMA account who is also the parent or guardian of the Beneficiary of an UGMA or UTMA account may claim this deduction.

Withdrawals for K–12 Tuition Expenses and Qualified Education Loan Payments are Nebraska Non-Qualified Withdrawals. Nebraska state tax deductions are subject to recapture if the account owner cancels a Participation Agreement, makes a partial or complete Nebraska Non-Qualified Withdrawal or rolls assets to an out-of-state 529 qualified tuition program or ABLE program.

Your financial advisor will review the various options of investing, the different fee structures and costs involved when making an investment.
Distribution requests may be made online, by completing a Withdrawal Request Form, contacting your financial advisor, or by telephone. If the withdrawal request is in good order, the Plan typically will process the withdrawal and initiate payment within two business days of receipt. During periods of market volatility and at year-end, however, withdrawal requests may take up to five business days to process. When requesting a withdrawal please allow seven to ten days for the proceeds to reach you.
Federal Qualified Higher Education Expenses include:
  1. tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for the enrollment or attendance of a Beneficiary at an Eligible Educational Institution;
  2. subject to certain limits, the Beneficiary’s room and board expenses if enrolled at least half-time;
  3. the purchase of computer or peripheral equipment, computer software or Internet access and related services if they are to be used primarily by the Beneficiary during any of the years the Beneficiary is enrolled at an Eligible Educational Institution;
  4. expenses for special needs services in the case of a special needs Beneficiary which are incurred in connection with enrollment or attendance at an Eligible Educational Institution;
  5. K–12 Tuition Expenses;
  6. Apprenticeship Program Expenses; and
  7. Qualified Education Loan Payments.
NEBRASKA Taxpayers:  please see the next question: “What is a Nebraska Non-Qualified Withdrawal?”
Nebraska law does not treat the following Federal Qualified Higher Education Expenses as Nebraska Qualified Expenses:
  • K–12 Tuition Expenses; and
  • Qualified Education Loan Payments.
If a withdrawal is made for such purposes, although it is a Federal Qualified Withdrawal, it will be treated as a Nebraska Non-Qualified Withdrawal and may result in the recapture of a previously claimed Nebraska state income tax deduction, and the earnings portion will be subject to Nebraska state income tax.
The Plan utilizes Vanguard, DFA, T. Rowe Price, State Street, Fidelity, PGIM Investments, American Funds, Dodge & Cox, MetWest, and Northern Funds.
The Plan offers:
  • 3 Age-Based Investment Options
  • 5 Static Investment Options
  • 19 Individual Fund Investment Options

You may permanently opt out of the Meadowlark Program at any time.

For a child born in the calendar year 2020 or 2021, who is a resident of Nebraska at the time of birth, a parent may elect to permanently exclude their child from the Meadowlark Program. By electing to exclude your child from the Meadowlark Program, your child will not be eligible to receive the $50 Meadowlark contribution for higher education.

IMPORTANT: If you elect to exclude your child from the Meadowlark Program you understand the election is permanent and your child will not be eligible to participate in the future.

To remove your child from the Meadowlark Program, select the "Opt Out Now" button or download the printable form. Be sure to have the following important information ready before you start:

  • Your child’s date of birth.
  • Your child’s Nebraska Birth Certificate State File Number found in the upper right corner of their birth certificate. Please note, this is not their Social Security number.

Opt Out Now
The $50 from the State is the seed to get you started, but it’s just the start. NEST 529 Advisor makes it easy to save for higher education:
  • Learn about 529 college savings plans - 529 Basics.
  • Learn more about NEST 529 and all its advantages - NEST 529 Features.
  • Contact your financial advisor to open your own NEST 529 Advisor account – it’s fast and easy and you’ll be glad you did down the road.

Once you’ve opened your NEST 529 Advisor account, we’ll link your Meadowlark seed deposit to your account – it’s that easy!

You’re encouraged to start saving for your new little one with your own NEST 529 Advisor account. Your contributions go into your account that you control. With it, you’ll also be able to view the balance of your Meadowlark account.
Meadowlark funds are flexible and may be used at most Nebraska private and public two- or four-year technical, trade, vocational, graduate, or professional schools.
Any baby born on or after January 1, 2020, who is a resident of Nebraska at the time of birth is eligible to receive a one-time Meadowlark seed contribution. Babies are enrolled in the program in the spring following their year of birth.