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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 (year round) and Prepaid529 (during open enrollment). 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 fafsa.ed.gov or an educational financial aid adviser.

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 beneficiary’s projected high school graduation date, or thirty years from when the account was opened (if opened after the beneficiary’s high school graduation) for Invest529 and CollegeAmerica accounts. You have ten years after the beneficiary’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 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.