Virginia's CollegeAmerica is an advisor-sold 529 plan that makes available a line-up of 28 individual fund portfolios, 6 multi-fund portfolios, and seven target date fund portfolios from American Funds through Class 529-A, 529-C, 529-E and 529-F-1 shares. To find a financial advisor in your area, use the Directory of Financial Professionals.

5-Cap Rating


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)

Performance Costs Features Reliability Resident Upgrade
3.38 4.17 3.10 4.80 0.30

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Program type:


How to enroll:

Enroll through a financial advisor. Find a Professional

Initial year of operation:


State agency(ies):


Program manager:

American Funds Service Company, American Funds Distributors, and Capital Research and Management Company

Program distributor:

American Funds Distributors

Manager contract term:

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State residency requirements:


Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

U.S. citizens and resident aliens, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:

The account must be used within 30 years after the beneficiary graduates from high school or within 30 years after opening the account, whichever is later.


Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Virginia's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $500,000.

Minimum contributions:

The minimum initial contribution is $250 per fund ($1,000 for American Funds Money Market Fund), and the minimum subsequent contribution is $50 per fund. For an employer-sponsored program, the minimum contributions are $25 per fund.

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

The Target-Based Portfolios contain 7 portfolios of underlying mutual funds. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the number of years to expected enrollment based on the age of the beneficiary or as selected by the account owner. As each fund approaches its target date, it will increasingly emphasize income and preservation of capital by investing a greater portion of its assets in bond, equity-income and balanced funds, eventually investing principally in fixed-income funds and merging into the College Enrollment portfolio.

Static investment options:

Select among 30 individual mutual funds and 6 multi-fund portfolios from American Funds.

Underlying investments:

American Funds mutual funds.

Underlying fund allocations:

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See Investment Options

Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:

None, but contributions may be subject to a sales charge depending on share class.

Account maintenance fee:


Program management fees:

None (0.10% state administrative fee is included in the underlying fund expenses).

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Ranges from 0.50% to 1.38% for Class 529-A, 0.50% to 2.14% for Class 529-C, 0.49% to 1.51% for Class 529-E, and 0.42% to 1.12% for Class 529-F-1.

Total asset-based expense ratio:

Class 529-A: 0.50% - 1.38%
Class 529-C: 0.50% - 2.14%
Class 529-E: 0.49% - 1.51%
Class 529-F-1: 0.42% - 1.12%

Broker loads and commissions:

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Breakpoint pricing:

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Does breakpoint pricing include non-529 assets under rights of accumulation policies

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Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:


State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

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.

State tax recapture provisions:

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.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

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.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

Virginia follows federal tax-free treatment except that outbound rollovers are subject to the recapture of prior state tax deductions.

Does the sponsoring state exclude the value of an account for state financial aid purposes?


Does participation in the program provide beneficiaries with any advantages in qualifying for resident tuition status at state institutions?


Does the program have a formal agreement with a rewards program or outside scholarship program?


Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Account owner, beneficiary, or eligible educational institution

Account Changes

Policy regarding participant/owner changes:

Accepts requests to transfer account ownership.

Documents, Access & Reporting

Does participant have online password-protected access to account?


Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?


Documents and other services accessible or downloadable on the program's public Web site:

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Web site:

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