- By supernovamommy
- 10 September, 2012
- Comments Off
College Savings Month with Virginia 529
With “back to school” on the brain, area parents are thinking about the cost of school supplies and new clothing for their students, but September is also National College Savings Month. With the rising cost of college, it is important to start saving early and have a plan in place. 529 plans are one of the leading resources used to save for college, particularly Virginia 529 College Savings Plan where more families are enrolled than any other 529 plan in the country.
529 plans get their name from Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which was passed by Congress in 1996. This confirmed the tax status of programs started years earlier by some states, and allowed other states, including Virginia, to help families plan and save for future qualified higher education expenses at eligible educational institutions. Virginia 529 offers one prepaid program that allows families to prepay today for their future cost of undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees, and three different savings programs, all of which are administered by Virginia 529. Each program is different in order to meet various objectives, risk tolerances, savings time horizons and budgets, but all four programs provide an important first step in saving for college. Earnings on all Virginia 529 accounts grow tax-free and are not subject to tax if used for qualified higher education expenses. Virginia taxpayers are also eligible to receive a deduction from state individual income taxes of up to $4,000 per account each year. Benefits may be used at eligible universities, colleges, community colleges and technical schools across the country and around the world!
With a 529 plan, parents, grandparents, family members and friends are able to contribute to the account, and they make great gifts.
Virginia 529 offers 4 programs to choose from:
- Virginia Prepaid Education ProgramSM (VPEPSM): This program is available for newborns through ninth graders and has a limited annual enrollment period. With this program, participants are able to prepay tuition and mandatory fees at Virginia public colleges & universities. In addition, benefits can be used at Virginia private colleges, as well as most public and private colleges across the country.
- Virginia Education Savings TrustSM (VESTSM): This program does not have any beneficiary age-limits or residency requirements. Enrollment in this program is offered year round with a minimum of $25 to enroll. VEST includes individual accounts invested in your choice of stocks and bonds with the intent of paying for higher education expenses for the beneficiary student.
- CollegeAmerica®: This program is “the Virginia College Savings Plan’s partnership with the American Funds, one of the oldest and largest mutual fund companies in the country” (www.virginia529.com.) This program is available only through financial advisers and allows participants to choose from a variety of American Funds to build a college savings plan portfolio that meets their specific needs.
- CollegeWealth®:: This program is offered in partnership with Union First Market Bank and BB&T to provide FDIC-insured bank accounts with the benefits of a 529 plan.. Accounts can be open with a $25 minimum and include all Virginia 529 account tax advantages. Interest rates start at 2% APY.
Virginia 529 makes it easy to learn about all four programs online here, through the pre-printed Program Guide (also available online), or first-hand through representatives at various events. Representatives are front and center to talk about the four programs with a factual yet fun spin at school, community and other events throughout the state of Virginia all year long. Free group presentations for PTAs, employers, churches, and many other organizations are offered upon request.
For more information, find Virginia 529 at:
Virginia 529 has a special offer for SuperNoVAMommy readers:
“$25 OFF! Apply at Virginia529.com using promo code SUPERNOVA to waive the $25 application fee. Offer applies only for new online accounts with VEST or VPEP (only during VPEP open enrollment). No Cash Value. Please read the Program Description applicable to each of these programs prior to applying.”