Investing for K-12 goals

*The following is not intended as investment advice, but rather a guideline to consider if you choose to save for K-12 private or religious school tuition using a 529 Plan.

Consider our individual options when investing for your K-12 goals. With this do-it-yourself strategy, you'll select your own investments and manage your portfolio over time.

Keep in mind these considerations

Using 529 plans to save for a child's K-12 education presents investors with scenarios that are very different from saving for college with 529 plans.

Spending patterns

You will typically withdraw money from your 529 account over a much longer time frame if you are saving for both K-12 and post-secondary expenses.

Time horizon

When you include saving for K-12 educational expenses, you may have less time to save than if you are saving for college only.

4 tips for choosing your K-12 investments

  • Determine when you'll need the money to pay for education expenses.
  • Choose your investments based on when you'll need to use portions of your savings and your comfort level with risk.
  • Revisit your asset allocation each year to see if you have the same risk tolerance and time horizon.
  • Reallocate your investments if necessary.

An example of how you may invest $100

Let’s say you have $100 to invest - $75 for college and $25 for high school. One way you can consider investing is as follows:

  • $75 in an age-based option which automatically adjusts overtime based on when the beneficiary is to attend college.
  • $25 in an individual portfolio based on your risk tolerance for a child in kindergarten, who will need the account for private high school in 8 years.

Choose the right investments for your goal

  1. If you'd like to build your own portfolio, select from the plan's individual portfolios to create the asset allocation you're comfortable with. These investments cover all major asset classes - stocks, bonds, and short-term reserves. For each 529 account, you're limited to 5 investment options.

See College SAVE individual portfolios

  2. If your goal is 2 years away or less

If you'll need a portion of the money within 2 years, your main priority may be preserving your principal. Consider low-risk investments that are easy to access.

College SAVE offers the Interest Accumulation Portfolio that seeks to provide income with the preservation of principal.

Learn more about our Interest Accumulation Portfolio

Don't forget to review your investments

Because investing in individual portfolios is a do-it-yourself strategy, it's a good idea to review your portfolio regularly to make sure it's still in line with your goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance.


  • You can only move money from 1 portfolio to another up to two times a year.
  • When investing in an individual portfolio, the asset allocation of the portfolio remains fixed and will not automatically become more conservative over time.
  • You should revisit your allocation periodically, especially if there are changes to your savings time horizon, risk tolerance, or personal situation.

Ascensus Broker Dealer Services is the distributor of the North Dakota College SAVE plan, Learn more about Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC on FINRA's BrokerCheck.

For more information about North Dakota's College SAVE Plan (College SAVE), call 1-866-SAVE-529 (1-866-728-3529) or click here to obtain a Plan Disclosure Statement. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are included in the Plan Disclosure Statement; read and consider it carefully before investing. Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC (ABD) is Distributor of the College Save.

Please Note: Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. You should also consult your financial, tax, or other advisor to learn more about how state-based benefits (or any limitations) would apply to your specific circumstances. You also may wish to contact directly your home state’s 529 college savings plan(s), or any other 529 plan, to learn more about those plans’ features, benefits, and limitations. Keep in mind that state-based benefits should be one of many appropriately weighted factors to be considered when making an investment decision.

College SAVE is a 529 plan established by the State of North Dakota. Bank of North Dakota (Bank) acts as trustee of College SAVE Trust, a North Dakota Trust, and is responsible for administering College SAVE Trust and College SAVE. ABD, the Plan Manager, and its affiliates, have overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the Plan, including recordkeeping and marketing. The Vanguard Group, Inc. (Vanguard) provides underlying investments for the Plan. The College SAVE's Portfolios, although they invest in mutual funds, are not mutual funds. Units of the Portfolios are municipal securities and the value of units will vary with market conditions.

Investment returns are not guaranteed and you could lose money by investing in College SAVE. Participants assume all investment risks, including the potential for loss of principal, as well as responsibility for any federal and state consequences.

Not FDIC Insured. No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee. May Lose Value.

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