Using Prepaid529 for qualified higher education expenses
At Virginia public institutions:
After your child applies to and is accepted at a Virginia public two- or four-year college or university, simply log into your secure Virginia529.com profile and complete a form advising Virginia529 of the school your student is attending. Virginia529 pays the in-state tuition and mandatory fees directly to the school.
At out-of-state or Virginia private institutions:
You may use Prepaid529 benefits at Virginia private colleges or out-of-state colleges, however payouts for eligible educational institutions not in the Virginia public higher education system may not cover the full cost of tuition and mandatory fees.
Virginia public college or university
Full coverage of in-state undergraduate tuition
Virginia private college or university
Payments + actual rate of return on payments
Out-of-state college or university
Payments + reasonable rate of return on payments
How to Use Your Account
Here’s some helpful information to guide you when you’re ready to access your benefits. Watch a webinar or tutorial anytime to learn about the process.
Tax benefits of Prepaid529
Prepaid529 contract owners enjoy the same tax advantages as with other Virginia529 programs:
- Deductions for annual contributions, up to $4,000 per account, from Virginia taxable income for the account owner
- Tax-free earnings
- Tax-free distributions for qualified higher education expenses
- Favorable federal gift and estate tax treatment
Virginia529 limits an individual beneficiary’s cumulative account balance for all Virginia529 accounts (regardless of program) to $500,000.
Mandatory fees do not include laboratory fees, course-specific or optional fees, room and board, transportation, computers or textbooks. Additional charges for a specific course of study, such as nursing or engineering, or for a course load above normal full-time are not covered by Prepaid529.
Ownership of a Prepaid529 contract has no bearing on the admissions process at Virginia colleges or those elsewhere. A student must apply to and be accepted by the school he or she wishes to attend.
To cover Prepaid529’s contractual obligations in the event of a Virginia529 funding shortfall, Virginia law provides that a sum sufficient appropriation must be included by the Governor in his annual proposed state budget bill. This provision can only be changed through the annual appropriations process, which would require action by the Virginia General Assembly.
Please refer to the Prepaid529 Program Description for a discussion of risk factors associated with Prepaid529.