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.
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:
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
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
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
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.
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.
Download the FY 2020 Financial Statement
Download the Investment Report
Download the Investment Policy
Criminal Injuries Compensation
Toll-Free: (888) 486-BEST (2378)
P.O. Box 198786Nashville, TN 37219