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Virginia's Prepaid529 offers a variety of tuition packages to Virginia families.
Savingforcollege.com's 5-Cap Ratings provides an evaluation and comparison of 529 plans, utilizing a formula that examines dozens of factors grouped into the following categories. (Scale 0 to 5; 5 is highest)
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Residents are not limited to investing in their own state's plan. Another state may offer a plan that performs better and has lower fees.
The plan chosen does not affect which state the student enrolls in. An investor can live in NY, invest in a plan from NV and send a student to college in FL.
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Prepaid contractEnroll Now
December 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017.
The account owner, beneficiary, or parent of a non-resident beneficiary at the time of program enrollment must be a Virginia resident or member of the U.S. military who is either stationed in Virginia or who claims Virginia as home of record .
U.S. citizens and legal residents at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
The beneficiary must be in the 9th grade or below at the time the contract is purchased. Contract benefits must be used within ten years after the projected date of high school graduation, unless an extension is granted.
In the 2016-17 enrollment, contracts are available in semester increments. Prices range from $7,825 for a 5th to 9th grader to $8,475 for newborn - age 4/5.
Prices cover a semester at a Virginia public four-year university/college or 2 2/3 semester at a Virginia two-year/community college. A maximum of ten semesters may be purchased for a beneficiary.
Private Institutions: The contract will pay the lesser of 1) payments made on the contract plus the actual rate of return earned on the invested funds, compounded annually or 2) the highest in-state undergraduate tuition at a Virginia public institutions in the same semester the benefits are used.
Out-of-State Instituions: The contract will pay the lesser of 1) payments made on the contract plus interest at a reasonable rate of return based on institutional money market rates, or 2) the average in-state undergraduate tuition at Virginia public institutions for the same academic semester the benefits are used.
Lump sum, initial down payment and installment payments for the balance, or installment payments only. Lump-sum and first monthly payments are due by May 1, 2017.
Yes, state legislation currently provides a financial guarantee in each year's state budget to cover prePAID's contractual obligations in the event of a funding shortfall. This provision can only be changed by the Virginia General Assembly, subject to the Governor's veto, and the General Assembly's ability to override a veto.
Fees & Expenses
Effective May 1, 2014, VA529 no longer charges an application fee for this program if application is submitted online.
Taxes and other Benefits
Program match on contributions:
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Contributions to a Virginia 529 plan of up to $4,000 per account per year are deductible in computing Virginia taxable income, with an unlimited carryforward of excess contributions. Contributions are fully deductible in the year of contribution for taxpayers at least 70 years of age. Contributions from a non-owner are deductible by the account owner and not by the non-owner/contributor. Contribution deadline is receipt (not postmark date) by the last business day of the year based on agency calendar.
The principal portion of rollovers and nonqualified withdrawals from this plan are included in Virginia taxable income to the extent of prior Virginia tax deductions. Nonqualified withdrawals for this purpose do not include withdrawals made as the result of the beneficiary's death or disability or withdrawals made on account of the beneficiary's receipt of a scholarship.
Qualified distributions from Virginia and non-Virginia 529 plans are exempt. Virginia also exempts distributions from a Virginia 529 plan attributable to the beneficiary's death, disability, or receipt of a scholarship.
Virginia follows federal tax-free treatment except that outbound rollovers are subject to the recapture of prior state tax deductions.
Does participation in the program provide beneficiaries with any advantages in qualifying for resident tuition status at state institutions?
Statutory protection of an account from creditors:
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Distributions & Terminations
Eligible educational institution.
Accepts requests to transfer contract ownership ($10 fee unless account owner has died or became disabled).
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