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College Savings 101

Get the 4-1-1 on 529s this Back-to-School Season


It’s back-to-school time again, but for families across the country this school year is anything but ordinary. Here are some resources and answers to your education savings and 529 plan-related questions during this unprecedented time.


Supporting Your College Student

Can I Put My College Refund Back into My 529 Plan?

Colleges and universities across the country are closing dining halls and dorms, while shifting to online instruction in an effort to stymie the spread of COVID-19. In many cases, families are receiving refunds for some expenses that 529 funds were used to cover.

Smart Money Moves for College Students this Fall

Financial aid experts urge families to do their research, ask for help and make a few money moves that may pay off in the uncharted months ahead.


529 College Savings Plans to the Rescue in Uncertain Times

Although they prepared for an altered campus experience for students, U.S. colleges are continuing to put rules and guidelines in place to help contain the coronavirus while simultaneously rolling out hybrid education models designed to keep students on pace to meet their academic needs.


Other Frequently Asked Questions:

How Long Do I Have to Use My Account?

How Long Does a Child Have to Use their Prepaid529 Account?

Important Documents:

Invest529 Withdrawal Guide

Prepaid529 Benefits Guide

Learn More:

Tutorials and Webinars


Adjusting Your Child’s K-12 Education

Can I Use My 529 Plan for My Child’s K-12 Education?

Withdrawals of up to $10,000 per beneficiary per year for tuition may be taken as a qualified expense from a 529 plan.  Note: The costs of textbooks, room and board, supplies and other expenses for K-12 education are not covered and homeschooling expenses are currently not considered qualified higher education expenses.


Other Frequently Asked Questions:

Which portfolio should I choose if I am saving for K-12 tuition at a public, private or religious school?


Learn More:

Tutorials and Webinars


Managing Your Accounts

Manage Your Account at

Virginia529 offers a variety of digital account management options for account owners to manage their account securely online.


What Should Investors Do During Times of Market Uncertainty?

During times of market volatility, investors should focus on their time horizon and asset allocation. Good investing involves deciding on a long-term strategy and sticking with it.


How Long Does it Take for My Money to be Invested?

As of April 2020, Invest529 contributions received on any Business Day are generally invested on the next Business Day.


Exploring Your Investment Options

Some volatility is an inevitable result of investing over market cycles, but experts agree that investors should maintain a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds in accordance with their time horizon.  Knowing when you plan to tap into education savings and your personal risk tolerance should guide your investment choices. 


Other Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I change Invest529 Portfolios?


Learning About Saving

4 Ways You Can Use a 529 Account

529 plans are designed to be flexible, and in recent years the approved uses for your 529 plan have grown to include even more pathways to help individuals and families achieve their dreams.


Other Frequently Asked Questions:

Does My Virginia529 Account affect Eligibility for Financial Aid?


Helpful Planning Tools:

Explore the College Savings Estimator, Cost of Waiting Calculator and Financial Aid Calculator


Learn More:

Tutorials and Webinars

Smart Savers Blog

Resources to help you learn

Virginia529 offers free, in-person information sessions at locations across Virginia. These hour-long sessions highlight the program’s three plans, explain the benefits to account owners and give you the chance to get your questions answered. If you don’t live near one of our in-person sessions, Virginia529 offers online webinars where you can learn more from the comfort of your own home.