Publication Date



Federal legislation enacted late in 2017 altered the statue governing 529 college savings plans, which were originally designed to hold assets for postsecondary education. Under the amended statute, funds in 529 plans may be used to cover K–12 tuition. This brief, developed through the Center for Social Development’s collaboration with Prosperity Now and New America, examines the implications of the changes for existing Child Development Account (CDA) policies and concludes that the new federal rule changes do not affect the ability of CDA programs to retain previous—or define new—restrictions for postsecondary education use. Yet, as the discussion illustrates, CDA programs should be familiar with their account structure and the response of their state government to the federal changes.

Document Type

Research Brief


Financial Inclusion


Asset Building

Original Citation

Clancy, M. M., Markoff, S., & King, J. (2018, May). How do changes to 529 rules affect children’s savings account programs? (CSD Research Brief No. 18-24). Washington, DC: Prosperity Now, Washington University, Center for Social Development, and New America.


College Success


529 college savings account; Child Development Account; Center for Social Development; qualified expenses; ; 529 plan; college savings account; CSA; investment earnings; investment growth; Permanent Fund Dividend; policy; market appreciation; Pension Protection Act of 2006; postsecondary education; saving; ScholarShare 529; SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment; SEED OK; TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc.; Nevada College Kick Start; El Monte Promise Foundation; Scholars Savings Program; CHET Baby Scholars; college success