For more than 20 years, Virginia529 has helped thousands of families save for college through its award-winning Invest529 program and through its original (limited enrollment) defined benefit savings option Prepaid529. With the permanent closure of Prepaid529 to new enrollment in May 2019, Virginia529 has been working to expand Invest529 to include a new principal protected portfolio option that helps families invest in their loved ones’ futures with the same level of certainty and peace of mind as Prepaid529.
The new portfolio, called the Tuition Track Portfolio, will allow Virginia families to purchase a desired number of Tuition Track Portfolio units toward Tuition and other qualified higher education expenses, and is available year round for purchase without a contract. The purchased units will keep pace with average tuition inflation rates at Virginia public universities, and provide an affordable, simplified, and defined path that families can take when saving to cover future educational costs.
Account owners may purchase whole or fractions of Tuition Track Portfolio units based on their savings goals and budgets, and the cost of units will not vary based on beneficiary age. Unit prices are calculated based on the Average Tuition at Virginia’s fifteen public colleges and universities, as determined by Virginia529.
When it’s time to use the funds, account owners will receive a payout equal to the current Average Tuition at Virginia public universities for each unit purchased. Unlike Prepaid529, the same payout will be given regardless of whether the beneficiary attends an eligible in-state, out-of-state or international school.
There will be no changes to existing Prepaid529 contracts, and current contracts will retain the Prepaid529 benefit structure in effect at the time of purchase.
Current Prepaid529 account owners interested in also saving through the Tuition Track Portfolio can use both to cover a student’s higher education expenses. Prepaid529 is designed to cover Tuition at Virginia public universities, but families have often had to use other savings to cover additional incurred expenses. In comparison, Tuition Track Portfolio units can be used for Tuition and all other qualified higher education expenses, including room and board, meals and fees.
Details are still being finalized, but the Tuition Track Portfolio is expected to launch in February 2021. More details about the new portfolio and how to open an account will be available on Virginia529’s website in late Fall 2020.