Virginia529 prePAID

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Enrollment open December 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017

Tuition is typically the most expensive component of higher education. For 2016-2017, a year of tuition and mandatory fees at a four–year Virginia public university can cost as much as $21,234.

Tuition Trends

Source: State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) Tuition and Fees Reports for 2009-2010 through 2016-2017

What will tuition cost when your child, grandchild or loved one heads off for freshman year?

With prePAID, the uncertainty of tuition inflation is eliminated. Each prePAID semester purchased covers a future semester of tuition and mandatory fees at two- and four-year Virginia public colleges or universities.

1 semester of Virginia529 prePAID =
1 future semester at a Virginia public four–year college or university
2.6077 future semesters at a Virginia public two–year college1

1 Conversion ratio may change each enrollment period to reflect variations in tuition costs year to year. The 2016-2017 conversion ratio is 1 : 2.6077.

By the time our daughters graduate from high school, each will have two years of community college and two years of university tuition prepaid! Some financial decisions can be difficult to make, but locking in at today's rates and prepaying in monthly installments is a no brainer!

Shelly G., Alexandria, Virginia

Flexible purchase and payment options

prePAID offers flexible options to work for many budgets and saving goals.

Select the number of semesters that fit your budget.

Some choose to buy a single contract of eight or 10 semesters, which covers the four or five years typically required to complete an undergraduate degree.

Others choose to purchase one or a few semesters per enrollment period until accumulating the amount desired.

Pay your way.

Use the prePAID calculator to explore purchase and payment options.

» prePAID Calculator

Tax benefits of prePAID

Enjoy the same tax advantages as with other Virginia529 programs:

  • Deductions for annual contributions, up to $4,000 per account, from Virginia taxable income for the account owner
  • Tax-free earnings
  • Tax-free distributions for qualified higher education expenses
  • Favorable federal gift and estate tax treatment

The amount we invested for 4 years of prePAID in 2002 is less than one year of college costs now. When our children go off to school, they can focus on academics, not stressing about money.

Shannon S., Hampton, Virginia

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for a prePAID account:

  • Either the account owner or the beneficiary (child) must be a Virginia resident at the time the account is opened.
  • The beneficiary must be born and in ninth grade or younger during the enrollment period.


prePAID prices are determined by the child’s current age or grade. Use the calculator to explore purchase and payment options.

2016–2017 Virginia529 prePAID Pricing, Coverage & Conversion Rates

Child Age/Grade Price ² VA Public Four–Year University / College Coverage VA Public Two-Year / Community College Coverage ¹ Maximum Semesters
Newborn - Age 4/5 $8,475 1 Semester 2.6077 Semesters 10
K - 4th Grade $8,150
5th - 9th Grade ³ $7,825

¹Conversion ratio may change each enrollment period to reflect variations in tuition costs year to year. The 2016–2017 conversion ratio is 1 : 2.6077.

²Prices shown are for a one–time, lump sum payment for contracts purchased during the 2016–2017 enrollment period.

³Account must be opened by the end of the enrollment period during the beneficiary’s ninth grade year.

The 2016-2017 Virginia529 prePAID Pricing & Coverage Table is not accessible with this device’s screen size.

The table is accessible in landscape mode on some devices.

My son is a freshman in high school today. By the end of this year, I will have completed one of my life's dreams -- to save enough money to send my son to college! Making the decision years ago to invest in his (and my) future has really brought me an overwhelming sense of peace.

Alicia S., Henrico, Virginia

Getting started

Open a prePAID account through March 31, 2017, the end of the 2016–2017 enrollment period. Create a secure profile, provide information about the beneficiary, select the number of semesters and choose a payment option. If paying monthly, payments begin May 1, 2017.

Using prePAID for qualified higher education expenses

At Virginia public institutions:

After your child applies to and is accepted at a Virginia public two– or four–year college or university, simply log into your secure profile and complete a form advising Virginia529 of the school your student is attending. Virginia529 pays the in-state tuition and mandatory fees directly to the school.

At out–of–state or Virginia private institutions:

You may use prePAID benefits at Virginia private colleges or out–of–state colleges, however payouts for eligible educational institutions not in the Virginia public higher education system may not cover the full cost of tuition and mandatory fees.

4 For purposes of prePAID only, Virginia529 defines tuition as the undergraduate in-state semester or term charges for tuition and mandatory fees required and imposed as a condition of enrollment of all students by a two–year or four–year Virginia Public Institution. Please see the prePAID Master Agreement for a complete definition.

Thanks to Virginia529 prePAID, my daughter emerged from college without any student loans and is ready to start realizing her own dreams right after graduation.

Shobha G., Glen Allen, Virginia

Additional information

Maximum balance

Virginia529 limits an individual beneficiary’s cumulative account balance for all Virginia529 accounts (regardless of program) to $500,000.

Mandatory fees

Mandatory fees do not include laboratory fees, course–specific or optional fees, room and board, transportation, computers or textbooks. Additional charges for a specific course of study, such as nursing or engineering, or for a course load above normal full–time are not covered by prePAID.

College admissions

Ownership of a prePAID contract has no bearing on the admissions process at Virginia colleges or those elsewhere. A student must apply to and be accepted by the school he or she wishes to attend.

State obligation

To cover prePAID’s contractual obligations in the event of a Virginia529 funding shortfall, Virginia law provides that a sum sufficient appropriation must be included by the Governor in his annual proposed state budget bill. This provision can only be changed through the annual appropriations process, which would require action by the Virginia General Assembly.

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