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  • BEST Prepaid Plan Participant Information
  • Steps to Rollover or Refund

The Baccalaureate Education System Trust (BEST) Prepaid Tuition Plan was terminated on November 30, 2015. 

Provided under T.C.A Section 49-7-824, a beneficiary is eligible to remain in the BEST Plan if he or she:

  • Has been accepted by an institution of higher education,
  • Is currently enrolled in an institution of higher education,
  • Or is projected to graduate from high school no later than November 30, 2018.

To meet the certification requirement for the 2018-2019 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 certification deadline. Acceptable documentation includes:

  • A high school or college transcript;
  • An official letter from a high school administrator;
  • An official college acceptance letter for the Fall 2018 term;
  • A request for payment directly to an institution of higher education for the Fall 2018 term; or
  • An official enrollment letter or an invoice from an institution of higher education reflecting the beneficiary’s college enrollment status for the Fall 2018 term.

Follow the steps below to recertify by completing the 2018-2019 Beneficiary Status Certification Form*:

  • Click the button below to be guided to the “Annual Certification” form
  • Enter the Password “BEST2018” to access the form
  • Complete the form and upload supporting documentation

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.

Certification Period

Unit Rate

2018-2019 Academic Year

to be adopted by the Board  on July 17, 2018 and effective on August 1, 2018

2017-2018 Academic Year

$97.04

2016-2017 Academic Year

$90.61

2015-2016 Academic Year

$88.48

No certification documentation received

$88.48

* If you have requested a payment directly to an institution of higher education for the Fall 2018 term, your beneficiary’s eligibility status will automatically be updated and you do not need to follow the steps to recertify.

2018-19 Beneficiary Status Recertification

 

 

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. TNStars is designed to give Tennessee families high quality investment options at a low cost to help them put aside money for higher education expenses. Families can invest directly with the program and money can be withdrawn tax-free from a TNStars account to be used for qualified post-secondary education expenses.

Rolling over to another 529 plan allows you to continue to save for your beneficiary’s future and will not cause a taxable event.

To learn more about TNStars, investment objectives, risk, costs and to read the official statement visit TNStars.com or contact us at 855-386-7827 or TN.Stars@tn.gov.

Refund
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. A link to the form is provided below.

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.