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NY's 529 College Savings Program

Saving for a child’s college education can be an intimidating and often frustrating experience. The New York's 529 College Savings Program helps make saving for a child’s future easier for families of all income levels.

About the Program

Cornell employees can open a 529 account for a child and have as little as $1 per pay period direct deposited into that account. These deductions are on an after-tax basis. The Program allows anyone to contribute a child’s 529 account, including parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and friends, regardless of state residence.

If you’re saving for more than one person, you’ll need to open multiple accounts (each account can only have one beneficiary). If you leave the State of New York, you may keep contributing money to the account and continue to enjoy the benefits of federal and state tax-deferred growth. Please note, State tax deductions will be dependent on the state of residence*.

Tax Savings*

The Program offers New Yorker State taxpayers an annual New York State income tax deduction for contributions of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for married couples filing jointly. Although non-resident tax benefits will vary by State; thus, account owners need to speak with their tax advisor about the impact of this specific tax situation. There is no federal deduction. Information on 529 plans can be found on the IRS website.

Qualified withdrawals made at accredited institutions are tax free. An institution as defined in Section 529(e) of the Code. Generally, the term includes accredited postsecondary educational institutions or vocational schools in the United States and some accredited postsecondary educational institutions or vocational schools abroad that offer credit toward a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree, a graduate-level or professional degree, or another recognized postsecondary credential. The institution must be eligible to participate in a student financial aid program under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. §1088).

Funds may be used for educational expenses, including tuition, fees, supplies, books, and equipment required for enrollment. Most room and board expenses are also covered for students enrolled at least half-time.

How to Enroll

After reviewing this information, should you wish to enroll, please visit or call (877) NYSAVES. After enrolling online or submitting a completed application to the Program, you will receive a confirmation form attesting to your enrollment. For payroll direct deposit, you must also set up Cornell payment elections (pdf)  through Workday. The state also provides instructions on obtaining the necessary NY 529 information that you can enter into Workday.


For additional support, you can schedule an appointment with Cornell’s local 529 representative, Melissa Kapsiak.

*Cornell cannot act as a personal tax consultant. The contents of this page are for informational purposes only. All U.S. citizens and foreign national visitors to the U.S. are personally responsible for knowing the tax laws and how they pertain to him/her individually.

While every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of this Summary, in the event of any discrepancy the policy documents will prevail.