To give investors more options for their investments, North Carolina's 529 college savings plan has partnered with The Vanguard Group and Upromise Investments, according to The News & Observer.

Vanguard will be providing plan participants 10 additional investment choices, and Upromise will be taking over as the plan's administrator.

By adding UPromise and Vanguard to the mix, North Carolina hopes to appeal to more investors. "It means people have more choices and more flexibility in how they invest their money," said Steve Brooks, executive director of the N.C. State Education Assistance Authority.

With tuition prices on the rise and financial aid dropping, more and more parents are depending on 529s. Assets under management in these plans are increasing. In 2005, assets under management in state-sponsored plans grew by 28% up to $82.5 billion, according to data provided by the College Savings Plans Network.

"The money going in has been very significant, and we foresee there will be a lot more as people become more educated about 529 plans and how easy it is to open up a plan," said Arbab Hassan, a research analyst for 401kid, an investment advisor.

"It's long overdue that North Carolina has the option for people to invest in the stock market but do it in a way that does not charge large management fees, said Adam Searing, a Chapel Hill, N.C. resident.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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