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Using Your 529 Account for Dual Enrollment Programs

It’s becoming increasingly common for students to take college-level classes while still in high school, an advanced learning process called dual enrollment.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, students who earn college credits prior to high school graduation reduce their average time-to-degree while increasing the likelihood of graduation. For parents, it’s an opportunity to reduce future college expenses by shortening the time to college graduation.

Parents of high school students who are considering getting a jumpstart on their college degree at an accredited school can withdraw money from their Virginia529 account, without a tax penalty, to fund the tuition and fees for these courses.

Tuition and fees for college courses are qualified higher education expenses when taken at an eligible educational institution. This includes vocational courses taken at eligible post-high school institutions as well. Related: Is your institution 529 eligible?

Dual enrollment courses are offered in 48 states and the District of Columbia and the majority have students pay at least a portion of the tuition1. Using 529 plan money for these courses can be helpful since federal financial aid is not available to students unless they have a high school diploma or equivalency.

However, keep in mind that dual enrollment requirements vary by state, and not all students may be eligible to take these types of classes in high school. Students should consult their school’s guidance counselor prior to enrolling, and there is no guarantee that the college your student attends will accept dual enrollment class credit.2

In general, dual enrollment courses can be useful for families and can be considered when developing your strategy to reduce future college education costs.

Virginia529 is here to help you prepare for your child’s entry into college or other type of post-high school training program.


This information does not constitute tax advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Please consult your tax advisor, financial advisor, and/or local taxing authority for more information.

1 Education Commission of the States

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