Author:  Vince Sullivan, Director, NEST 529 Direct Plan

Your favorite pair of jeans isn’t ‘one size fits all,’ so why should your 529 plan be?

Did you know that the funds in your NEST 529 College Savings Plan account can be used for more than just 4-year college tuition? Your savings can be used to study abroad, enroll in classes at home (even if you’re not a full-time student), supplement your professional goals and even change your career path.

NEST 529 plans are more versatile than you might think, because each account owner and beneficiary has unique plans and dreams for the future. We compiled some out-of-the-box uses for NEST 529 plans:

  • Travel the world – Studying abroad is often regarded as a quintessential college experience. Immersion is known to be one of the best ways to learn about a culture—from its language and food to its customs and routines—and a study abroad program provides a well-rounded option for those looking to expand their comfort zone by traveling the globe and meeting new people. Unfortunately, this invaluable experience often comes at a high cost. The good news is that funds from a NEST 529 account can be allocated towards study abroad programs, as long as they are hosted by qualified educational institutions. For a full list of qualified educational institutions, visit  
  • Be a forever student –Just because you’re not a full-time student doesn’t mean that you can’t reap the rewards that a NEST 529 savings plan has to offer. Whether you’re a retiree, an empty-nester or a forever learner, you can use the funds from your account to enroll in courses that allow you to fulfill a passion, keep your comprehension skills sharp, become a topical expert and reignite your love for learning.
  • Supplement your career goals – New jobs are being created every day, and with new jobs comes the need for new skills. If you’re pursuing a career in an emerging and rapidly expanding field, you can use the funds in your account to boost your knowledge and bolster your resume. Learn a new language, become fluent in coding syntax, discover the latest and greatest in digital advertising – the options are endless, and will allow you to market your adaptability, enhance your current skills and position yourself as the ideal candidate for new and innovative roles.
  • Reimagine your future – Thinking about shifting gears and moving away from your current position? Then why not use your savings account to pursue a future in a field that you know you’d love? In addition to 4-year and 2-year higher education, NEST 529 plans can be used to help pay for vocational and trade institutions like culinary school and esthetician school. Take a chance on yourself and invest in a future worth getting excited about.

NEST 529 can help open up a world of untapped experiences. Explore the possibilities, create new opportunities for yourself and, most importantly, never stop learning.