GET helps families save
You can prepare for future college costs by planning ahead. Saving, even a little at a time, can make a big difference down the road. The important thing is to start early and save often.
The Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Program is Washington’s 529 prepaid college tuition plan. It was established in 1998 to help families save for their students’ future higher education costs. The Committee on Advanced Tuition Payment and College Savings (WA529 Committee) governs the program, and the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) administers the program. Since 1998, more than one hundred thousand Washington families have opened GET accounts and over 65,000 students have used their accounts at colleges, universities, technical schools, and apprenticeships nationwide and internationally.
The state of Washington guarantees that the value of your GET account will keep pace with resident, undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at Washington’s most expensive public university, no matter how much it changes in the future. With GET, you don’t have to worry about the ups and downs of the stock market. You are assured that the money you save with GET will be there when your student is ready for college.
Choice of colleges nationwide
The value of each GET unit is tied to the cost of resident, undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at Washington’s most expensive public university, but you can use GET units to pay higher education costs at eligible schools anywhere in the country and even around the world. Schools are eligible as long as they accept U.S. Federal Financial Aid. Your GET account has the same monetary value whether your student attends a public university, a local community college or technical school, a private university, or a college in another state. You can even use your GET units to pay for certain apprenticeship program expenses.
Tax-free growth and withdrawals
Because GET is a state 529 plan, any growth in your account is tax free, and remains free from federal income tax as long as funds are used for qualified higher education expenses. Qualified expenses include tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, computer equipment, qualified apprenticeship expenses, K-12 tuition, and paying down student loans. Note that all account contributions are made post-tax.
Flexibility and control
GET is priced and valued based on in-state tuition and fees, but, you can also use GET units to pay for room and board, books, computers or other qualified education expenses. If your student chooses not to continue their education or receives a scholarship, you can transfer units to another family member, wait to see if plans change, use units to pay for graduate school, pay down student loans, roll unused funds into an ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) account or a Roth IRA for the same student, or request a refund. As the GET account owner, you always maintain complete control over the account.
Easy ways to save
With GET, you can save in the way that best fits your budget. You can make one lump sum contribution, add funds whenever you have extra money to contribute, set up regular automatic payments, or choose a combination of approaches. You can open an account for anyone – your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, friend, or even yourself. We only require that either the account owner or the student is a Washington resident at the time you open your account, and that units are held for two years before use (if you move out of state later that’s okay). Family and friends can help as well – a GET contribution makes a great gift for any occasion.
Learn More at the links below.