Managing Your CollegeAmerica Account | American Funds

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How to Use Your Account

Managing Your CollegeAmerica® Account

From setting up your account to making withdrawals, here’s how to get the most from your CollegeAmerica savings plan. 

Getting Started

CollegeAmerica is available only through your financial professional. If you do not have a financial professional, please call us at (800) 421-4225 for assistance with locating one in your area.

Growing Your Account

Once your account is set up, you can buy shares online or by phone, through your advisor, or by mailing a check.

Buying shares online

Log in to your account and click Buy to purchase shares online. Be sure to have your bank information on hand if it’s not already on file.

Buying shares by phone

Call us at (800) 421-4225.

Buying shares by mail

Send your request to an American Funds Service Center. Be sure to include:

  • An investment check payable to CollegeAmerica
  • Your account number
  • Investment instructions 
    • Account registration 
    • Account number 
    • Amount to invest (per fund)

Making Changes to Your Account

Whether you want to update your CollegeAmerica investment allocations or your beneficiary designation, you can make changes yourself or through your financial professional.

Exchange shares

You may reallocate your CollegeAmerica investment twice per calendar year and whenever there’s a change to the beneficiary of the account.

Change beneficiaries

You may change the beneficiary of the CollegeAmerica account at any time. To avoid tax treatment of the change as a withdrawal, the new beneficiary must be a member of the family of the previous beneficiary. 

Generally, UGMA/UTMA custodians may not change the beneficiary of a custodial CollegeAmerica account. Custodians wishing to change beneficiaries should seek legal advice as funds held in UGMA/UTMA accounts represent an irrevocable gift to a specific individual. View our FAQ page to learn more about changing beneficiaries.

Make changes to your CollegeAmerica account, including beneficiary and owner.

Making Withdrawals From Your Account

When it’s time to withdraw the money you’ve worked hard to save since you opened your CollegeAmerica account, you can redeem shares in several ways:

 

  • Online
  • By speaking with your financial professional
  • By calling us at (800) 421-4225
  • By using American FundsLine®, our 24-hour automated touch-tone phone service: (800) 325-3590. Our free FundsLink® service links your bank account to your American Funds account, making it easy to buy and sell fund shares online and by phone. FundsLink also allows you to establish an automatic investment or withdrawal plan and to deposit dividends and capital gains electronically. We urge you to consult your financial professional before making any changes to your account. Some services may not apply to certain types of retirement accounts or fund share classes. Call us for further information.
  • By mail

Preparing for CollegeAmerica Withdrawals

Need help getting your 529 withdrawals ready? Learn about qualified expenses, how to prevent processing delays and the options for receiving your money.


Investments are not FDIC-insured, nor are they deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any other entity, so they may lose value.

Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses, summary prospectuses and CollegeAmerica Program Description, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing. CollegeAmerica is distributed by American Funds Distributors, Inc. and sold through unaffiliated intermediaries. 

Depending on your state of residence, there may be an in-state plan that offers tax and other benefits not available through CollegeAmerica. Before investing in any state's 529 plan, investors should consult a tax advisor. 

If withdrawals from 529 plans are used for purposes other than higher education, the earnings will be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty in addition to federal and, if applicable, state income tax.