Washington Guaranteed Education Tuition: Giving the Gift of GET

washington state college savings

 

washington state college savingsNot much creates more concern in one’s personal finances than saving for college. Families want to be prepared but it can be overwhelming trying to predict how much of the college tuition will be covered by financial aid or how personal investments will perform between now and the start of our children’s college education. To make saving for college even more tricky, we do not know how much the price of college will continue to increase. For example, annual college tuition increases in Washington averaged 9.5% per year over the last decade.

Prepaid tuition plans like GET can alleviate the uncertainty of paying future tuition and postsecondary education expenses. GET is a 529 prepaid tuition plan and is unlike 529 savings plans, where families invest money in the stock and bond markets in hopes of good market performance as their college savings plan. Prepaid 529 plans allow families to purchase units in advance for future tuition costs. In other words, you pay a set price now and are guaranteed that, come college time, you have an established amount of already paid-for tuition through your GET units. An additional bonus is that GET accounts offer tax free growth and withdrawals.

Family and friends are recognizing both the importance as well as challenge in saving for college in current times. Increasing tuition and the reality that the majority of future jobs will require some form of post-secondary education have spurred gift giving in support of college savings.

Contributions to a GET account are wonderful and common gifts for baby showers, birthdays, and other special occasions. Gift certificates are even available online. Education is a gift that will last a lifetime. “We contribute to our grandsons’ accounts on birthdays and special occasions. Their college savings are important to all of us,” explains the Goldberg family.

For more information on the GET program and to find out how to enroll go to the GET website, call 800-955-2318 or email GETInfo@wsac.wa.gov.

Enrollment is open through May 31.

 

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