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Smart Savers Blog

Counting Down to Graduation


It’s the exciting time of year when parents and high school seniors are planning for the next stop on their education journey. For families that own a Virginia529 account, this also likely marks the first time they will use their account. Here are ways you can prepare before paying for your student’s tuition or other qualified higher education expenses.


Review your plan documents.

It’s important to know all you can about your account. The Prepaid529 and Invest529 Program Descriptions have all the pertinent details.

Attend a webinar/watch on-demand videos.

Want to know more about using your account? Sign-up for a webinar or watch on-demand videos through Smart Savers Academy.

Log in to your online account.

You’ll want to log in to your online account at and make sure your contact information is up to date. Most requests can made through your online account, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the portal.

Learn how to request funds.

When you’re ready to use your account, you’ll have to submit a withdrawal request to Virginia529. These requests can be done online, but processes and rules vary slightly. Invest529 account owners can review the steps and qualified higher education expense information in the Invest529 Withdrawal Guide.  Prepaid529 account owners should review the Prepaid529 Benefits Guide for important withdrawal information as the process was enhanced May 2021.

Know your deadlines and processing times.

Keep your student’s school deadlines in mind when making your withdrawal requests so there isn’t a delay in payment. Typically, an online withdrawal request is processed within 2-3 business days, but could take longer if you send funds directly to the school. Invest529 account owners can submit withdrawal requests at any time. For Prepaid529 account owners, withdrawal requests for the Fall semester should be submitted by June 15th.

Resources to help you learn

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to the most common questions about 529 plans.

Smart Savers Academy

Tune in to a live episode and ask questions of the presenter, or watch a previously recorded webinar below.

Invest529 Portfolio Performance

Review and compare historical returns of Invest529 portfolios.