College Counts 101: How to Save for College

We all want the best for our children. And we do the best we can. But sometimes, it’s hard to plan ahead—especially 18 years ahead.

CollegeCounts is Alabama’s 529 fund. Your family can save for your child’s college education while enjoying a number of excellent benefits. Best of all, it’s easier than you might think!

Here’s what you need to know before you embark on your college savings journey.

What are the Advantages?

Investing with CollegeCounts allows you to enjoy many benefits including certain tax benefits, school choice, and flexible contributions. And once you’re ready to start withdrawals for college, your children can use their funds on much more than just tuition.

Why Should I Start Early?

To make the most of your CollegeCounts contributions, it’s important to start as early as you can—even if you have to start small. Learn more about the benefits of planning ahead and investing while your little ones are still little.

What is the Best Way to Contribute?

With CollegeCounts, there’s no minimum or regular contribution required, so you can invest the amount that meets your budget and savings goals. Contribute at any time or set up an Automatic Investment Plan for an easy and convenient way to make regular electronic contributions directly from your bank account. Family members and friends can also make gifts to your beneficiary for birthdays, holidays, or other special occasions.

How are Contributions Invested?

CollegeCounts offers a number of investment options from quality mutual funds families like Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, DFA, Fidelity, PIMCO, and more. Learn more about our investment options to find a strategy that makes the most sense for your family. Take our Risk Tolerance Questionnaire and talk to your financial professional for more information.

How Do I Get Started?

Once you’re ready, getting started is easy. It takes about 15 minutes, and all you’ll need is basic information about you and your children. The quickest way to open an account is online at Once your account is set up, it’s easy to review and manage the account through our secure online access.

Thank you for investing with the CollegeCounts 529 Education Fund for your child. Once you see those caps flying on graduation day, you’ll be glad you did.