The Baccalaureate Education System Trust (BEST) Prepaid Tuition Plan was terminated on November 30, 2015. A beneficiary is eligible to remain in the BEST Plan if they meet certain requirements. All other beneficiaries must rollover to another 529 program, such as TNStars, or request a refund.
Provided under T.C.A Section 49-7-824, a beneficiary is eligible to remain in the BEST Plan if he or she:
To meet the certification requirement for the 2019-2020 academic year and to receive the New Weighted Average Tuition rate, BEST participants with beneficiaries who are eligible to remain in the plan must submit supporting documentation by the September 1st, 2019 certification deadline. Acceptable documentation includes:
If your beneficiary is eligible to remain in the BEST Prepaid Plan, follow the instructions on this page to recertify your beneficiary annually and to manage your account.
The Request for Transfer Form enables BEST participants to transfer units among BEST Prepaid contracts for beneficiaries who are eligible to remain in the BEST Prepaid Plan.
The Payment Request Form allows eligible BEST participants to request a payment to a qualified educational institution, request a payment to the purchaser or beneficiary as an advance payment or as reimbursement for qualified higher education expenses, and/or to request a scholarship refund.
If your beneficiary is not eligible to remain in BEST, you can roll the monies in your BEST contract to another 529 plan, such as the TNStars College Savings 529 Program. Rolling over to another 529 plan allows you to continue to save for your beneficiary’s future and will not cause a taxable event.
If your beneficiary is not eligible to remain in BEST and you do not wish to rollover to another 529 plan, the Refund Recipient may request to withdrawal any remaining funds by completing the Refund Request/Contract Termination form.
Completing a Refund Request/Contract Termination form will close the account. Any withdrawals made that are for non-qualified education expenses may be subject to a 10% penalty on the earnings and will be treated as income for tax-reporting purposes. Prior to making a non-qualified withdrawal, please seek advice from an independent tax professional based on your particular circumstances.
BEST participants with beneficiaries who are eligible to remain in the plan must submit supporting documentation annually.
Effective September 1, 2018, participants who fail to annually provide appropriate documentation demonstrating their beneficiaries’ eligibility to remain in the BEST Prepaid Plan will be ineligible to receive any future unit rate increases. Any withdrawal, refund or rollover will be paid out at the Weighted Average Tuition effective for the academic year in which the participant last provided certification of the beneficiary’s eligibility to remain in the plan.
Follow the steps below to recertify by completing the 2019-2020 Beneficiary Status Certification Form*:
* If you have requested a payment directly to an institution of higher education for the Fall 2019 term, your beneficiary’s eligibility status will automatically be updated and you do not need to follow the steps to recertify.
If your beneficiary is not eligible to remain in BEST, you can roll the funds in your BEST contract to another 529 plan, such as the TNStars College Savings 529 Program..
Rolling over to another 529 plan allows you to continue to save for your beneficiary’s future and will not cause a taxable event.
A program of the Tennessee Department of Treasury, TNStars offers high quality investment options at a low cost to help families save tax-free for future college expenses.
To learn more about TNStars, investment objectives, risk, costs and to read the official statement visit TNStars.com or contact (855) 386-7827 or TN.Stars@tn.gov.
Rollover to a TNStars plan
Download the FY 2017 Financial Statement
Download the Investment Report
Download the Investment Policy
Criminal Injuries Compensation
Toll-Free: (888) 486-BEST (2378)
P.O. Box 198786Nashville, TN 37243