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NextGen 529 accounts are available in two separate series: the Direct Series for investors who wish to manage their own investments and the Select Series for investors who prefer to work with a financial advisor. Learn more below.


Account Opening Checklist

Before you get started, make sure you have these things on hand:

Information about you+
  • Social Security number and date of birth
  • Valid mailing and email addresses
  • Employment information (including company name, address, and start date)
  • General financial information (such as annual income and household net worth)
Information about the beneficiary (student)+
  • A valid mailing address & phone number
  • Social Security number & date of birth
  • General household financial information
Investment choices+

You will also be asked to make investment choices. While there is information available within the application process, you can also read more about your investment options.

Open an Account Online

It’s quick and easy to open a Direct Series account online. You will be leaving this website and going to the secure application at Merrill Edge.

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Open an Account With a Financial Advisor

Prefer to work with a financial advisor? Ask your financial advisor about opening a NextGen 529 Select Series account.

More About NextGen 529 Direct & Select Series:

Each series offers different investment options, each with its own sales charges, fees, and expense structure. Expenses associated with the Direct Series will generally be lower than those associated with the Select Series. Currently, some of the same investment options are available in each series.

Grants for Maine Residents1

Are you or your beneficiary a resident of Maine? Boost your 529 savings by taking advantage of these grants just for you.

$100 Initial Matching Grant

Open your account, add $25 and get a $100 Initial Matching Grant.

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$100 Automated Funding Grant

Set up and make six consecutive automatic contributions from your payroll or bank account and get a $100 Automated Funding Grant.
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30% NextStep Matching Grant

Make contributions and get a 30% NextStep Matching Grant up to a $300 match per year.
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$500 Alfond Grant

The Alfond Scholarship Foundation awards the $500 Alfond Grant to every baby born a Maine resident since January 1, 2013.2 Alfond Grant recipients can use their Alfond Grant to open a NextGen 529 account without making an initial contribution.

Alfond Grant recipients-start saving early and get a $100 boost! Open a NextGen 529 account and add $25 before your baby is a year old and get a $100 Initial Matching Grant!1

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Grants for Maine residents are linked to eligible Maine accounts. An Alfond Grant recipient is eligible to receive the $100 Initial Matching Grant if the minimum required initial contribution is made before the beneficiary’s first birthday. Upon withdrawal, grants are paid only to institutions of higher education. See Terms and Conditions of Maine Grant Programs for other conditions and restrictions that apply. Grants may lose value.

2 The Alfond Grant is not automatic in all circumstances and is also available in limited other circumstances. The use of the Alfond Grant is also subject to certain restrictions – see Alfond Grant Guidelines.