Two smart choices. Use one or both.

Unless your child is a future Rhodes Scholar or a gifted athlete, you’re going to need a plan. Now we’ve made it even easier to choose one – or two – that fit your goals and budget. The following side-by-side comparison may help you determine if using both plans may suit you better.

  Prepaid College Trust College Investment Plan
How can I use the Plans?  Use it to pay the full in-state or in-county tuition and mandatory fees at any Maryland Public college or up to the Weighted Average Tuition toward nearly any private or out-of-state college.  Use it at nearly any public, private, or technical college nationwide for any eligible higher education expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board, books, course-specific fees or supplies. 
What is unique about each plan?  It lets you lock in tomorrow’s tuition at today’s prices, and it is backed by a Maryland Legislative Guarantee.  You can choose from 14 different investment options — ranging from more aggressive to more conservative investment strategies. Your investment return and principal value will vary, depending on the investment option you choose. 
What are the Maryland tax benefits?  The earnings are tax-free when used toward eligible college expenses. Each Maryland account holder can deduct up to $2,500 of payments each year from Maryland income per account—$5,000 for two, $7,500 for three, etc. Payments in excess of $2,500 per account can be deducted in future years until the full amount of payments has been deducted.
 
The earnings are tax-free when used toward eligible college expenses. Each Maryland account holder can deduct up to $2,500 of contributions each year from Maryland income per beneficiary—$5,000 for two, $7,500 for three, etc. Contributions in excess of $2,500 can be deducted for up to the next 10 years. Contributions in following years could be eligible for deduction; however, you cannot deduct more than $2,500 per beneficiary in any year nor extend the 10-year limit on each year’s contribution. 
Are there Federal tax benefits?  Yes, any earnings are federally tax-free when used toward eligible college expenses.  Yes, any earnings are federally tax-free when used toward eligible college expenses. 
What are the age requirements?  Enrollment is open to children from newborn through 12th grade, although accounts must be open for at least three years before tuition benefits can be paid.
 
Enrollment is open to children or adults of any age. 
Do I have to live in Maryland?  Either the account holder or child must reside in Maryland or Washington, D.C., when the account is opened.  No, there are no State residency requirements. 
When can I enroll? 

December 1, 2013 through April 7, 2014 – year-round for newborns.

 
Any time. 
What are my plan options?  There are a variety of tuition plans. Select from one semester or one to five years at a four-year college, one or two years at a community college, or a combination. You may change your tuition plan at nearly any time.  You can invest in multiple portfolios. You can move your investment among portfolios once per calendar year for each student. 
What are my payment choices?  There are seven different payment options. You can select one that’s right for your family budget. The cost is fixed by number of years purchased, age of child, and payment plan selected. You may change your payment options at any time.  See "How much can I contribute?" (directly below) 
How much can I contribute?  See "What are my payment choices?" (directly above) 

You can invest up to a maximum account balance of $350,000 per student. You will need to make a minimum investment — $250 by check or $25 per portfolio through automatic monthly contributions.

 
What are the fees and expenses?  The “Prices and Fees ”  section of the Prepaid College Trust Disclosure Statement contains information on all applicable fees and expenses.  The “Fees and Costs” section of the College Investment Plan Disclosure Statement contains information on all applicable fees and costs.