An account owner may initiate an investment option change twice per calendar year per student. If there is a change in student, an investment option change can also be made at the same time.
Yes, an account owner may have multiple portfolios for the same student and each portfolio is a separate account. The account owner may not have two of the same portfolios for the same student. For instance, an account owner could not have two 2039 portfolios for the same student but could have a 2039 portfolio and an ESG Core Equity portfolio for that same student.
The only insured portfolio is the FDIC-Insured Portfolio and this portfolio is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to the fullest extent permitted by law. All other Invest529 portfolios are subject to market risk including loss of principal.
You may choose any of the Invest529 portfolios, however it's important to keep in mind the shorter the time horizon when the money will be needed for private, public, or religious K-12 schools when choosing a portfolio. There are Invest529 portfolios that have conservative and stable investment strategies as well as more aggressive options, but it is ultimately up to you to choose the portfolio that best meets your risk tolerance and time horizon.
Target Enrollment portfolios are designed for college savers. You pick the date your student will be graduating from high school and over time the investments go from more aggressive to more stable.
For more information about Target Date Portfolios, view the blog article: Three Things to Know About: Target Enrollment Portfolios.
Contributions may be made online at Virginia529.com or by check, online bill pay or, direct deposit (please consult your employer regarding direct deposit policies).
First, read about the programs Virginia529 offers, specifically the Program Description for the program(s) in which you are interested. After you have selected a program, select "Open an account" from the top of any page to gather the information you need to get started. After you create an online user profile, you can complete the application for Invest529. To open a CollegeAmerica account, contact your financial advisor or visit americanfunds.com.
Any non-retirement investment or savings account may affect eligibility. For accounts owned by parents and dependent students, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) assesses 529 assets at a maximum of 5.64 percent of the value when calculating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for financial aid eligibility. Accounts owned by other parties will impact eligibility differently. For more information, consult studentaid.gov or an educational financial aid advisor.
Yes. Accounts can be cancelled at any time. Keep in mind that earnings that are not used for qualified higher education expenses are subject to a 10 percent federal tax penalty (with certain exceptions for death, disability and scholarships), plus federal and state income taxes on the earnings reportable on the taxpayer’s return, and the recapture of any Virginia tax deduction previously taken on the amount of the cancellation or refund.
You have thirty years after the student’s projected high school graduation date, or thirty years from when the account was opened (if opened after the student’s high school graduation) for Invest529 and CollegeAmerica accounts. You have ten years after the student’s projected high school graduation date to use a Prepaid529 account. Virginia529, in its sole discretion, may grant extensions of time in which to use a Virginia529 account.
Account ownership can be transferred at any time to an individual 18 years of age or older and a U.S. citizen or legal U.S. resident. Account benefits can be transferred to a member of the current student’s family without penalty. Penalties may apply if transferred to an individual who is not a member of the current student’s family. Please read the applicable Program Descriptions and consult your tax adviser for more information.
Yes! Anyone may contribute to your Virginia529 account, but only account owners may take the Virginia state income tax deduction for contributions.
Accounts may grow tax-deferred and are tax-free of federal and Virginia taxes when withdrawals are used for Qualified Higher Education Expenses and at eligible institutions. Virginia taxpayers who are Virginia529 account owners can deduct their contributions up to $4,000 per account, per year, with unlimited carry forward to future tax years.
No state residency restrictions exist for Invest529 or CollegeAmerica.
No. All of our accounts, including Prepaid529, can be used at any eligible educational institution around the country or the world, public or private! Benefits of Prepaid529 contracts differ depending on how and where they are used. Please see the applicable Program Descriptions for more information.
Yes. Many families choose to enroll in multiple Virginia529 programs. Account values across all programs may not exceed $550,000 per student.
Yes. Most vocational, technical, and graduate schools are eligible educational institutions. Check the eligibility of a specific school online at fafsa.ed.gov using the “School Code Search” or contact the school directly. Benefits of Prepaid529 contracts differ depending on how and where they are used. Please see the applicable Program Descriptions for more information.
Yes! Please visit this Virginia529 page for details.
Account owners must be 18 years of age or older and a U.S. citizen or legal U.S. resident to open an account, while the beneficiary must be a U.S. citizen or legal U.S. resident to be named to an account. The account owner may also be a U.S. trust, corporation, partnership, nonprofit organization, custodian, guardian or other entity. Only Prepaid529 requires the owner or the beneficiary to be a Virginia resident at the time the account is opened.
If your name has recently changed due to marriage, divorce or another legal matter, the account owner must complete and submit a Change of Name Request Form, which can be requested by contacting Virginia529 Customer Service.
You will also need to submit ONE of the following:
- Marriage certificate showing former and new names, and date of marriage
- Divorce decree that states a name change was granted
- Court order or other legal documentation referencing the former and new names
- Birth certificate indicating the correct name spelling if requested change is to correct a spelling error
- Unexpired government-issued photo identification (such as a driver’s license or passport). The Account Owner should provide their identification if the name change is for a minor.
The update can take up to 30 days after the required documentation is received. The new account owner will receive notification of the update via mail.
Please send a copy of the Account Owner’s death certificate and complete as much of the information on the form as you know.
Virginia529 accounts automatically pass to the named designated survivor at the death of the Account Owner. When a valid Designated Survivor is not named Virginia529 reserves the right to designate the account beneficiary (student) as the new account owner if the student is over the age of 18. If the student is under the age of 18, Virginia529 has the discretion to set up a custodial account (under UTMA) for the benefit of the student and designate a custodian to manage the account until the student turns the age of 18. Per the Prepaid529 and Invest529 Program Descriptions, Virginia529 may take the suggestion of the executor or representative of the deceased Account Owner’s estate when naming a custodian for a student.
If both the Account Owner and Designated Survivor have passed away, complete and submit the Transfer Account Upon Death of an Account Owner Form, along with a copy of the death certificates.