College Savings

BEST Prepaid Plan

Baccalaureate Education System Trust (BEST) Prepaid Plan

Previously terminated on November 30, 2015, the Baccalaureate Education System Trust (BEST) Prepaid Tuition Plan will end all contracts in 2021. On May 18, 2021, Public Chapter 469 was signed into law, effectively terminating all remaining contracts in the program by December 31, 2021.

While the BEST Prepaid Tuition Plan is ending, the Tennessee Department of Treasury remains committed to helping families save for college. We want to assist account owners in using BEST account funds in the best way possible.

Key Dates and Actions

Submit documentation to recertify an Eligible Beneficiary by September 1, 2021

To receive the new Weighted Average Tuition unit rate that will be effective on August 1, 2021, BEST participants must submit supporting documentation by the September 1, 2021 certification deadline. Acceptable documentation includes:

  • A copy of the Fall 2021 schedule with the student’s name, school name, and a listing of the Fall 2021 course(s) in which he or she is enrolled;
  • An official college acceptance letter for the Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 terms;
  • A request for payment directly to an institution of higher education for the Fall 2021 term; or
  • An official enrollment letter or an invoice from an institution of higher education reflecting the beneficiary’s college enrollment status for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Recertify

Submit requests for payments, withdrawals, rollovers and account changes by November 1, 2021


Submit a Payment Request Form

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.

Download the Payment Request form

Roll Over to a 529 Account

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 TNStars

Request a Voluntary Refund

If you do not wish to rollover to another 529 plan or await for the automatic refund, 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. Please see section below entitled Tax Consideration for more information.

Download the Refund Request form

Automatic refunds will be issued by December 31, 2021

An automatic refund will be sent to the named Refund Recipient for any BEST contracts for which there is no action taken prior to November 1, 2021. Refunds will be paid out at the unit rate effective for the last academic year your beneficiary was certified.

Weighted Average Tuition

Certification Period Unit Rate
2021-2022 Academic Year $103.25
2020-2021 Academic Year $101.71
2019-2020 Academic Year $101.40
2018-2019 Academic Year $98.64
2017-2018 Academic Year $97.04
2016-2017 Academic Year
$90.61
2015-2016 Academic Year
$88.48
No certification documentation received
$88.48

Tax Considerations

Withdrawals, including program initiated refunds, will considered non-qualified withdrawals and will be subject to federal tax consequences unless (1) you or the beneficiary have retained proof of qualified higher education expenses that are equal to or greater than the amount of the withdrawal or (2) you rollover the distribution to a qualified 529 program within 60 days of the date of the distribution. 1099-Q forms will be mailed by January 31, 2022. Please consult your tax advisor regarding your own circumstances.

Contact Us

 Best.Office@tn.gov

 (615) 532-8056

 Toll-Free: (888) 486-BEST (2378)

Mailing Address

BEST Prepaid Plan

P.O. Box 198786
Nashville, TN  37219