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SMART529 Prepaid Tuition Plan

The West Virginia SMART529 Prepaid Tuition Plan has stopped accepting new enrollments and its future has not been settled. West Virginia also offers three 529 savings plans, the SMART529 Direct, SMART529 Select and The Hartford SMART529 plans.

Our Ratingx

Fee Scorex




  • Program typePrepaid contract
  • Enrollment periodClosed to new enrollment.
  • Inception1998
  • State agency
    State Treasurer's Office under the authority of the West Virginia College Prepaid Tuition and Savings Program Board of Trustees
  • Tax deduction
  • Program Manager
    Hartford Life Insurance Company

Ratings & Rankings

Our overall rating for WV residents

This program is not open to you either because it has residency requirements or because it has stopped accepting new enrollments.

Our overall rating for non-residents

This program is not open to you either because it has residency requirements or because it has stopped accepting new enrollments.'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.


State residency requirements:

The account owner or beneficiary must be a West Virginia resident at the time of purchase.

Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

Individuals at least 18 years old and approved legal entities.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:

The beneficiary must be in the 9th grade or below at the time of enrollment. Contract benefits must be used within 10 years after the beneficiary's projected college entrance date.


Minimum contributions:


Contractual Features

Contract prices:

No longer accepting new enrollments.

Available tuition packages:

One to ten semester units (up to 5 years) of in-state undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees at a WV public institution

Benefits for beneficiary attending private or out-of-state institution:

Contract benefit value is based on the current tuition value which is the weighted average tuition and mandatory fees at WV public institutions

Contract payment options:

No longer accepting new enrollments

Are program benefits backed by the full faith and credit of the state?


Are program benefits collateralized or guaranteed in any other way?

Yes, a prepaid tuition escrow account exists to guarantee payment of prepaid tuition contracts; up to $1,000,000 annually is transferred to the escrow account from the state's unclaimed property fund if an unfunded liability exists in the program's trust fund.

Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:


Taxes and other Benefits

  • Tax deduction for single filersNo limit
  • Tax deduction for joint filersNo limit


Married filing jointly residents contributing $100/month can expect an additional $0 a year in tax savings.

Program match on contributions:


State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Contributions to West Virginia's 529 plans are fully deductible in computing West Virginia taxable income.

State tax recapture provisions:

The principal portion of nonqualified withdrawals from this plan are included in West Virginia taxable income to the extent of prior West Virginia tax deductions. Rollovers apparently are not subject to recapture.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

Qualified distributions from West Virginia and non-West Virginia 529 plans are exempt.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

West Virginia follows federal tax-free treatment.

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?

Yes, the Upromise Rewards program can be linked to any 529 college savings plan. Upromise Rewards is free to join and offers members cash back for college.

Upromise Helps Families Save for College

Upromise Helps Families Save for College

Statutory protection of an account from creditors:


Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Eligible educational institution, beneficiary, or account owner, as directed by the account owner

Account Changes

Policy regarding participant/owner changes:

Accepts requests to transfer contract ownership.