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Tuition Track Portfolio

Introducing the Tuition Track Portfolio

Keep your family on track to cover the average cost of Tuition, plus other qualified higher education expenses.

Tuition costs rise nearly every year. Take the guesswork out of your savings with Invest529’s new portfolio option, exclusively for Virginia residents - the Tuition Track.

Tuition Track Portfolio Overview

Topics include:

  • How Tuition Track works
  • How to purchase units/ what units cover
  • Differences from traditional Invest529 portfolios

Invest in a Portfolio Option that Keeps Pace with Tuition Growth

Tuition Growth

graphic showing tuition grew by 75% from 2010 to 2020

College tuition has grown an average of almost 5% a year for more than a decade. With the Tuition Track Portfolio, your savings will grow at the same rate as Average Tuition1 at Virginia public colleges and universities - without the risk of stock market volatility.

The Tuition Track Portfolio is a Principal Protected Portfolio, which means it is designed to protect against losses to the original amount you’ve invested, making it generally a more stable investment than some other portfolios.

Every Year, the Average Tuition at Virginia Public Colleges and Universities will be Calculated

Current Average Tuition

$13,884 per year

The Average Tuition is divided into 100 units to determine the cost of an individual unit. A unit equals 1/100th of an academic year. The cost to purchase a unit and the maturity value of the units you've already purchased will shift annually to match Average Tuition costs.

Tuition Track Unit Price

$13,884 ÷ 100 = $138.84/unit

You choose how many units to purchase and how often to buy them. As with other Invest529 portfolios, you can make a one-time contribution, which purchases unit increments with each dollar invested. Or, you can put your purchases on autopilot by setting up automated monthly contributions from your checking or savings account.

Chart illustrates Tuition and Fees 2021-2022. Tuition and Average Tuition amounts are for illustration purposes only. Source: State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Using Your Units

When it’s time to use your units, your student will receive one year of the current Average Tuition for every 100 units previously purchased, regardless of how much tuition rates have grown.

Currently, Tuition at more than half of Virginia's colleges costs less than 100 units a year. To cover the costs of attending a higher-than-average priced college, or to cover costs beyond tuition, consider purchasing more than 100 units for each year.

grapic depicting 100 units equals 1 year of average tuition

School A

If your school charges more than Average Tuition, you still will have more to pay to cover the Tuition bill.

At School A, you would need to use 180.07 units of Average Tuition (180.07 units * $138.84/unit = $25,000) to cover your annual Tuition.

School B

Some lower priced schools, or many community colleges, may charge less than Average Tuition. In that case, your surplus units could be used toward room and board, meals, books, or any other qualified higher education expense.

If you only wanted to cover Tuition for one year at School B, you would need to use 79.23 units of Average Tuition (79.23 units * $138.84/unit = $11,000).

Tuition Track Calculator

Use the Tuition Track Calculator to figure out how many units you can buy based on your budget.

What Tuition Track Covers

Use your savings at Virginia public, private, or even out-of-state colleges - you'll receive the same value for your units wherever your student goes!

The value of your units is based on the average cost of Tuition at public colleges and universities in Virginia, but Tuition Track units can be used at both public and private institutes of higher learning anywhere in the country - and beyond! You can use them to pay for more than just tuition - books, meal plans and all other qualified educational expenses can be covered by Tuition Track units.

Virginia Colleges
Non-Virginia Colleges
International Schools
Room and Board
Qualified Higher Education Expenses

How Tuition Track Portfolio Differs from Other Invest529 Portfolios

Just like other Invest529 portfolios, Tuition Track Portfolio offers tax-free growth and is eligible for the $4,000 Virginia state tax deduction.

There are a few differences to consider before investing:

Units may be purchased through the June 30th preceding the Expected Usage Date, typically the year of high school graduation. After that, any additional savings will have to be invested in another Invest529 portfolio.

The cost to purchase a Tuition Track unit changes annually on or about July 1st.

Units are eligible for use once they have been held for three or more years and the Beneficiary reaches the Expected Usage Date or begins taking eligible post-secondary courses.*

At the time of opening a Tuition Track Portfolio Account, either the Account Owner or the Beneficiary must be a Virginia resident.

A Beneficiary may have a maximum of 1,000 units at any time.

No Asset-Based Fees are assessed on funds invested in the Tuition Track Portfolio.

* If you choose to redeem your units earlier than the Expected Usage Date and you are not using them for eligible post-secondary courses, you'll receive your contributions plus Tuition Track Interest, assuming the units have been held for three or more years.

Tuition Track Portfolio Performance

Explore the Tuition Track Portfolio’s underlying assets and review its performance.

Tuition Track Portfolio FAQs

Purchasing additional Tuition Track Portfolio Units is simple. Log in to your Virginia529 account and select “Manage My Accounts,” then “One-Time Contribution.” After you select the bank account you’d like to use for the contribution, you’ll be able to select your Tuition Track Portfolio account and the amount you’d like to contribute. Use the Tuition Track Calculator to determine how many additional units you’d like to purchase.

Every year the Average Tuition at Virginia public colleges and universities, weighted by enrollment, is calculated by Virginia529. That number is divided into by 100 to determine the cost of an individual Tuition Track Portfolio unit. For example, if the Average Tuition for the 2020-21 year was $15,000, the cost per unit would be $150. If the Average Tuition for the 2021-22 year was $20,000, the cost per unit would increase to $200 for new units. The value of previously purchased units will keep pace with Tuition growth.

Tuition Track Portfolio units may be used for K-12 tuition.  However, the value will be based on whether the units being withdrawn have been held for at least three years and whether the account has reached the Expected Usage date.  As with Prepaid529, Tuition Track accounts are designed to be used for post-secondary education.

Yes, account owners can transfer units to younger and older siblings, and to the Members of the Family of the beneficiary within the same generation of the original beneficiary who are eligible at the time of the beneficiary change.   The Expected Usage Date will change as the beneficiary changes.

See all FAQs

Explore Your Savings Options

Tuition Track Calculator

Use the Tuition Track Calculator to figure out how many units you can buy based on your budget.

Portfolio Selection Assistant

Use this handy tool to help narrow down your options.

Ready to Open an Account?

Learn what information you need to gather to open your account.

1 The Tuition Track Portfolio was not open prior to January 2021 and so has no performance history. Average Tuition and Unit Price values approximate enrollment-weighted average Tuition during each year and the Unit Price is 1% of each Average Tuition value. The information shown is for illustrative and informational purposes only. Performance results shown are hypothetical and not necessarily representative of past performance and should not be relied on to predict future performance. The cost to purchase Tuition Track Portfolio Units changes annually on or about July 1st.