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NextGen 529 accounts are available in two separate series: the Client Direct Series for investors who wish to manage their own investments and the Client 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 Client 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? You may open a Client Select Series account through a Merrill advisor or a Maine Distribution Agent. Learn More »

More About NextGen 529 Client Direct & Select Series:

Each series offers different investment options, each with its own sales charges, fees and expense structure. Expenses associated with the Client Direct Series will generally be lower than those associated with the Client 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.
Learn More »

30% NextStep Matching Grant

Make contributions and get a 30% NextStep Matching Grant up to a $300 match per year.
Learn More »

$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.

New for 2020- Alfond Grant recipients now eligible for the Initial Matching Grant! Open an account and make a contribution of $25 by December 31, 2020 and receive a $100 Initial Matching Grant!

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1Grants for Maine residents are linked to eligible Maine accounts. 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.