How do I access my account to pay for qualified higher education expenses (qualified withdrawal)?

For a detailed explanation of the withdrawal process, view the "Using Your Pennsylvania 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan Account" webinar, available here.

You simply make a request to the PA 529 GSP to have a payment made. Your request can be made online or by mailing or faxing a form. You can direct that a payment be made directly to the school, to yourself, to the student or even to a third party such as a landlord.

Online qualified withdrawals. The quickest and easiest way to have your payment made is to make an online payment request. Please note that you will need to attach an electronic copy of the student's itemized tuition bill to your request. You can make an online request only if no other payment request has been processed for the same semester (either online or by mail/fax). So, for example, if you first make an online or mail/fax request for payment of tuition, fees and housing and later want to make a request for books, your book payment request would need to be mailed or faxed. Online requests that are in good order will be paid in approximately 5-7 business days.

If your student is attending a publicly funded school, you should check to see if the Tuition level at which you have been saving matches the school your student will be attending. If it does not, you should change your tuition level. By making sure that your tuition level matches the school being attended, you ensure that you will receive the full benefit of the PA 529 GSP to which you are entitled. If your student is attending a private or out-of-state school, your payment will be made at your current tuition level (which you may change at any time).

Learn how to change your tuition level.

Paper qualified withdrawals. To make a payment request by mail or fax, complete and submit a Payment Authorization Form. You may download a Payment Authorization Form and one may be automatically mailed to you (alternatively a link to the Payment Authorization Form may be emailed to you, depending upon your delivery option) each fall and spring semester until your account has a zero balance. In order to download or be sent a Payment Authorization Form, you must first advise the PA 529 GSP of your intent to use your account and the school your student will be attending.

Learn how to obtain, complete and submit a Payment Authorization Form.

You will need to attach a paper copy of the student's itemized tuition bill to your request. Mail/fax requests that are in good order may take up to 14 business days to be processed.

For more details about qualified withdrawals. See the relevant parts of the PA 529 GSP Disclosure Statement – particularly Part 1.A, "What schools and what expenses can an Account be used for"; Part 2.C.4, "Tuition Inflation Value"; and Part 2.D.2, "Qualified Withdrawals."

Related Topics

The Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program sponsors two plans-the Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) and the Investment Plan (IP). The guarantee of the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan is an obligation of the GSP Fund, not the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any state agency. Before investing in either plan, please carefully read that plan's disclosure to learn more about that plan including investment objectives, risks, fees, and tax implications.