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Virginia College Savings Plan Founder To Depart


Diana F. Cantor said Thursday she plans to step down as head of the Virginia College Savings Plan for a job in the private sector.

Cantor, 49, has been executive director of Virginia’s college savings plan since then-Gov. George Allen signed legislation creating the program 11 years ago. Virginia’s 529 fund has more than 3 million accounts and $25.6 billion in assets.

“I would not leave the Virginia College Savings Plan were I not certain that our current and future account owners and beneficiaries are in strong and steady hands,” Cantor told the agency’s board at a regularly scheduled meeting.

Cantor said she will work for New York banker Howard P. Milstein and his New York Private Bank & Trust. She will remain the VCSP’s executive director while the board searches for her successor.

The Virginia College Savings Plan has four programs: the Virginia Prepaid Education Program, which locks in future in-state tuition and fee costs; the Virginia Education Savings Trust, in which families save tax-free for all qualified higher-education expenses; CollegeAmerica, the state plan’s partnership with the American Funds mutual-fund company; and the soon-to-be-launched CollegeWealth, a multi-bank plan with funds backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Named for the Internal Revenue Code section governing them, 529 plans offer tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals on savings used to pay college expenses including tuition, fees, room and board, and required computers, supplies and textbooks.

–Associated Press

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