Use SMART529 at non-traditional schools

Financial EducationSMART529
Sep 08 2015

By Amy Hamilton, SMART529

Halloween is on its way, creating the mood for ghost stories and urban legends. Did you hear the one surrounding the SMART529 college savings plan? One of the biggest myths is that you can only use it at a traditional college or university.

It’s not true? Nope, it isn’t. You can use your college savings at thousands of institutions nationwide and some overseas schools. In West Virginia, there are over 70 institutions where you can use your savings plan. I’d like to highlight a few of the non-traditional institutions along with one of their degree/certificate programs:

  • Appalachian Bible College, Bradley – Bible and Theology
  • Carver Career & Technical Center, Charleston- Culinary Arts
  • Clarksburg Beauty Academy, Clarksburg - Cosmetology
  • Everest Institute, Cross Lanes – Electronics, Computer & Communications Technology Program
  • Meredith Manor Equestrian Career College, Waverly-Equine Science Master Program
  • Morgantown Beauty College, Morgantown-Esthetics
  • Valley College, Martinsburg-Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • West Virginia Business College, Nutter Fort-Office Administration Paralegal

A traditional college/university is not for everyone. Give your student the ability to find something that interests them. It might be closer to home than you think! There will continue to be a need for many occupations in the medical or technology fields that do not require a 4 year college degree. Many vocational and technical schools provide hands-on training and some even provide job placement.

Still doubt me? Take a look at this article from Business Insider about The 20 Highest-Paying Jobs That Don't Require A College Degree. Whether your student opts for a traditional college or a vocational/technical institution, your savings will provide a jump start to the future.

Click here to find a list of 529 eligible institutions. You can search by state, city or school name. For more information on how to start saving, go to

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