RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Virginia529 inVEST (inVEST) has received a Morningstar Analyst Rating™ of Gold by independent investment research provider Morningstar, Inc. inVEST is one of only three programs awarded the top honor this year. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161102/435623LOGO Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161102/435622 For the past two years, Morningstar had awarded inVEST a Silver rating for its "strong underlying manager lineup [that] has long made it a compelling option for investors." A 33-percent reduction in the program's administrative fee in July 2016 contributed to shifting inVEST to a Gold rating. "We are pleased Morningstar recognizes our efforts to provide best-in-class college savings programs," said Mary Morris, CEO of Virginia529. "Combining low fees, careful oversight and diverse investment options provides American families an attractive tool with which to achieve their higher education goals." Virginia529 continues to be the only state with two programs rated Gold or Silver in Morningstar's annual ratings. CollegeAmerica, Virginia529's advisor program offered in partnership with the American Funds, retained its Silver rating, making it one of the top ranked advisor-sold 529 college savings plans. Virginia529's prepaid tuition program and bank savings program are not evaluated in Morningstar's review. "This recognition by Morningstar, with positive ratings in each of the five pillars of Parent, Process, People, Performance and Price, is particularly welcome as Virginia529 celebrates its 20 th year helping families across the United States save for higher education," noted Virginia529 board chairman Shawn McLaughlin.