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College Savings 101

How Military Families Can Save for College

Military Father holding child's hand

Whether you’re an active member of the U.S. Armed forces or you’ve retired and are looking to determine the best college-savings options for your family, there are a number of opportunities available to help successfully prepare for your child’s educational future.

First, find out if you can transfer your GI Bill benefits to your children. The money may be used for undergraduate or graduate programs, or for certain programs at vocational and trade schools. For more details, review the GI Bill fact sheets.

Since GI Bill benefits may not cover all higher education costs, you can explore supplementing your GI Bill benefits by saving money in a 529 plan, which can be withdrawn tax-free for qualified higher education expenses.

You may invest in the 529 savings plan of any state, regardless of where you live.  Some states, like Virginia, offer a state income-tax deduction for contributions to a 529 plan, so it’s always good to check around.  If the state where you pay income taxes doesn’t offer a tax break (or if your legal residence is in an income-tax-free state), consider opening an account with Virginia529.

Every dollar you save today is one less dollar you’ll have to borrow. See how much you can save with an Invest529 account.


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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.