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College Savings Increase 13 Percent for Va. Families

RICHMOND Va.—Virginia families are saving more for their children’s college education.

Officials with the Virginia529 College Savings Plan say about $479 million was invested during fiscal year 2013 in three savings programs.

That’s up 13 percent from the $424 million families saved for college the previous year.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that improving economic conditions and growing concerns about student loan debt were credited for the increase, in addition to more marketing of the state plan. Virginia529 is the state agency that oversees the programs, which are named for the Internal Revenue Code that makes earnings in the accounts tax-free.

More students also withdrew money from their accounts to pay for college expenses. The agency distributed nearly $250 million in fiscal 2013, an increase of 13 percent.

Nearly half of distributions went directly to Virginia public schools.

Virginia Tech received $24.3 million, the highest distribution made by the plan. The University of Virginia was second at $20 million, and James Madison University was third at $13.5 million. Rounding out the top five were Virginia Commonwealth University, which received $12.2 million, and the College of William and Mary at $10.6 million.

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