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Special Benefits

First Step Program

First Step Program by CollegeInvest

The First Step Program is a free jump-start college saving program for every Colorado newborn. Through First Step, any child born or adopted on or after January 1, 2020 in Colorado is eligible to receive a free $100 contribution to a Scholars Choice Education Savings Plan account.

2 simple steps:

Apply by 12/31/23 and CollegeInvest will match your future contributions up to $2,500! All First Step recipients qualify for this matching – once you receive the $100 from First Step, CollegeInvest will match your future contributions dollar-for-dollar, up to $500 per year for the next 5 years!*

For more information about the Terms & Conditions, go to

Additional resources
Understanding state tax deductions
When exploring 529 plan options, it is important to know what tax benefits are in place in your state.
Estate planning benefits of 529 plans
When looking for a way to help your clients pay for higher education, a 529 plan – like Scholars Choice – offers unique estate tax planning benefits.
Accelerated gifting
Boost the potential investment earnings of your savings with the power of tax-free compounding.

Scholars Choice is a registered service mark of CollegeInvest.

1 The child must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien with a Social Security number or federal tax identification number and the parent or legal guardian must apply for the program before the child’s 5th  birthday. Children and their parent or legal guardian must be U.S. citizens or resident aliens who have been assigned a Social Security Number (SSN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (TFI). Upromise, Ugift, employer, promotions, and other non-account owner contributions do not qualify. Contributions by grandparents or other family/friends will not qualify for First Step match.

2 A Non-Qualified Withdrawal is subject to federal and state income taxes on the earnings portion, and a 10% penalty on the earning portion. In addition, any state tax deductions for contributions may be subject to recapture in subsequent years.

3 Contributions are deductible from Colorado income tax for Colorado taxpayers in the calendar year of the contribution up to $31,000 per tax filer/per-beneficiary for married filers ($20,700 for single filers), and subject to recapture in subsequent years in which non-qualified withdrawals are made or if funds are transferred to a non-Colorado 529 plan or ABLE account.

*CollegeInvest will contact the account owner in January of each year to confirm your account information. You’ll be automatically enrolled to receive up to $500 matched per year for contributions made in the next calendar year.

The Scholars Choice Education Savings Plan is offered by the State of Colorado. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. is the Plan Manager and Nuveen Securities, LLC is the Distributor.

The TIAA group of companies does not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult your legal or tax advisor. There are various risks associated with an investment in the Scholars Choice Education Savings Plan; principal loss is possible.

The Scholars Choice Education Savings Plan’s Investment Portfolios are subject to the risks of the underlying fund(s) in which they invest and other risks, as described in the Plan Description.

Before investing, carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Scholars Choice Education Savings Plan, including whether the investor’s or Designated Beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investment in such state’s qualified tuition program. Other state benefits may include financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors. For this and other information that should be read carefully, please request a Plan Description at 888-5-SCHOLAR (888-572-4652) or visit If the funds aren’t used for qualified higher education expenses, a federal 10% penalty tax on earnings (as well as federal and state income taxes) may apply.

Participation in the Scholars Choice Education Savings Plan does not guarantee that the account’s assets will be adequate to cover future tuition or other higher education expenses, or that contributions and the investment return on contributions, if any, will be adequate to cover future tuition and other eligible education expenses or that a Designated Beneficiary will be admitted to or permitted to continue to attend any eligible educational institution. Contributions to an Account and the investment earnings, if any, are not guaranteed or insured.

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