FAQs


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Frequently Asked Questions

Following are some of the most commonly asked questions about the GET Program. If you don't see your question below, please call us toll-free at 1.800.955.2318 or send us an email. 

About the GET Program


What is GET?
What is a 529 plan?
What makes GET different than any other investment?
What does the State of Washington guarantee?
Can GET accounts be used only at Washington colleges?
Do I have to pick a college when I enroll in the program?
What is a unit? Is it the same as a credit hour?
Will GET accept US and foreign notaries?

Opening Your GET Account


How do I enroll in the GET Program?
Who can open a GET account?
Once I've enrolled, what can I expect as a new participant?
What if I move out-of-state after I open my account?
I'm expecting a baby. Do I have to wait until the baby is born to open an account?
I have a high school student. Does GET still make sense for them?
Who controls a GET account?
Why do I need to choose a payment plan? What are my options?
What if I want to set up a Custom Monthly Plan and buy Lump Sum units?
What if I suddenly can't make the monthly payment on my Custom Monthly Plan?
Can I pay off my Custom Monthly Plan early?
If I sign up for a Custom Monthly Plan and later decide I want to buy more units, what could I do?
If I buy units through the Lump Sum Plan, how do I buy more units? Do I have to fill out another enrollment form?
How do I add a Custom Monthly Plan to a Lump Sum Plan account?

How do I change ownership on the account?

Buying GET Units


How do I make a payment?
How many units should I buy?
Can more than one person contribute to my GET account?
Can I supplement my savings in GET through other types of investments?
Can I contribute to more than one type of 529 plan?
Can I buy GET units by transferring or rolling over money from other accounts?
Can I roll over funds FROM the GET Program to another 529 program?
Can I buy GET units with funds from an existing UGMA or UTMA custodial account?
How is the GET unit price determined?

I bought GET units last year. Do I need to report anything on my federal income tax return?

How can I deactivate or change my bank automatic monthly withdrawal?

Using My GET Units


How do I access my GET account when my child is ready to begin college?

What if my child decides not to go to college?
How soon can I use my GET units?

How many units can I use each academic year?
How is the value of my account determined?
Why is the current GET unit price higher than the current GET unit payout value?
Can a part-time student use this program?
Where can I use GET units?

Can I use GET for graduate school?

My child is taking college-level courses through the Running Start program.  Can I use my GET account to pay for them?
What will GET units cover?
What are state-mandated fees?
How will a GET account affect my child's eligibility for financial aid?
What if my child receives a scholarship?

How can I transfer units between family members?
My student's college needs the payment for fall term right away. What should I do?
I submitted my Direct Payment Request on time, and the payment deadline for my child's college has passed. Why hasn't the money been distributed from my GET account?
Will I be able to use my GET account to study abroad?

If a university charges differential tuition for a specific course of study, will my GET account cover that?

About the GET Program

What is GET?
GET is Washington state's 529 prepaid college tuition program. It is governed by federal IRS rules and Washington State law (RCW 28B.95). With GET, you save money by prepaying part or all of your child’s college tuition costs now, to avoid paying higher costs in the future. The State of Washington guarantees that the value of your account will keep pace with the rising cost of resident undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at the most expensive public university in Washington, either the University of Washington or Washington State University. Although the value of your account is determined by tuition costs at UW or WSU, you can use your account nationwide at practically any public or private college, university or vocational school, and the monetary value remains the same.

What is a 529 plan?

A state 529 plan is a college savings plan named for Section 529 of the Internal Revenue code that authorizes them. Under this code, you contribute after-tax money and your money grows tax-free, and all withdrawals are tax-free, when used for tuition, room and board, and other qualified higher education expenses.

There are two types of state 529 plans: college savings plans and prepaid tuition plans. The difference lies in who chooses the investments and who assumes the risks.

  • College savings plan. You pick your investments and shoulder all of the investment risk. The value of your account is based on the performance of your investments. When it's time for college, you have whatever money is in your account.
  • Prepaid tuition plan (GET Program). You prepay for college tuition today for use in the future. The value of your account is guaranteed by the state to keep pace with resident undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at the most expensive Washington public university. The state picks the investments and assumes all the investment risks.

Most states now have either a 529 college savings plan or a 529 prepaid college tuition plan, or both. Washington’s only 529 plan is called Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET), and it is a prepaid college tuition plan.

Accounts in both types of plans now receive favorable treatment for financial aid purposes by federal law. If the parent is the account owner, the account is considered an asset of the parent in determining a family's eligibility for federal financial aid. It is treated by the financial-aid formula at a much lower rate than student savings.

To learn more about 529 plans, visit the College Savings Plan Network Web site (www.collegesavings.org).


What makes GET different than any other investment?
First, the guarantee sets GET apart from any other investment because the increased value is tied to tuition increases of the highest priced Washington public university. Because tuition continues to increase, families can be confident their investment will continue to increase in value. Secondly, the earnings are tax-exempt when the money is used for higher education expenses.

What does the State of Washington guarantee?
The state guarantees that if you buy 100 units today, your 100 units will be worth the actual cost of one academic year of resident undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at the most expensive Washington public university when your child enrolls in college, regardless of how much tuition has increased over time. You can buy any amount from 1 to 500 units per student and each unit will be worth 1/100th of that cost. This is called the “payout value” of a unit and it is determined annually. The monetary value remains the same whether you use your units to pay costs at a Washington public college or a private or out-of-state college.

The state guarantee is backed by the full faith and credit of the State of Washington. That means if future tuition increases ever require the program to pay out more money than it has available, the Legislature would be required by state law to provide funding to cover the shortfall. Washington's GET Program is one of only a few state prepaid college tuition plans in the country with a guarantee in state law (RCW 28B.95.050).

Can GET accounts be used only at Washington colleges?
You can use your GET units at nearly any public or private college, university or vocational school in the United States and at selected colleges in other countries. A college is eligible if it participates in federal financial aid programs through the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of participating schools, visit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Web site.

Keep in mind that your GET units may not be enough to cover the full cost of tuition and fees at private or out-of-state colleges. If your school costs more, you pay the difference. If it costs less, you can use GET units to cover other higher education costs, such as room and board, books, etc. In addition, enrollment in the GET Program does not guarantee that your child will pay in-state resident tuition or be admitted to any college.

Do I have to pick a college when I enroll in the program?
No, you do not have to pick a college when you enroll. When your child is ready for college, we will provide you with information about how to use your account.

What is a unit?  Is it the same as a credit hour?
GET units are not the same as credit hours at a college, university, or vocational school. Credit hours represent the academic value of a particular class. (For example, your child might earn 4 credit hours for completing English 101 at his college.) On the other hand, GET units are a financial measure and represent a way to pay for college.  One hundred GET units are equal to the cost of an academic year of resident undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at the most expensive Washington public university. Each GET unit is equal to 1/100 of that amount, and you can buy from 1 to 500 units per child.

Will GET accept US and foreign notaries?
Yes, GET accepts documents that have been notarized in the US or in a foreign nation. See RCW 42.44.150 for specific details.

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Opening Your GET Account


How do I enroll in the GET Program?

Click "Enroll Now" on our website to enroll online during our open enrollment period. You can follow the on-screen directions to establish an ID (your email address) and a Password. Then you can complete the enrollment form and submit it online. Many questions you may have can be answered by reviewing our website. You can also call Customer Service at 800.955.2318 or send us an email.  You may also download an enrollment form and mail it to us. Or, you can request an enrollment kit to be mailed to you, which includes both the Enrollment Form and Program Details.


Who can open a GET account?

You can open an account for anyone -- your child, grandchild, niece or nephew, friend or even yourself.  The only requirement is that either the student beneficiary OR the account owner be a Washington resident at the time of enrollment.  Children of military personnel who claim Washington as their home of record also are eligible to participate in GET.  Simply submit documentation of Washington residency when you enroll.

Once I've enrolled, what can I expect as a new participant?
The first thing you can expect is a "Welcome" email within 7 - 10 business days of your enrollment. It will advise you to log in to your account and review it for accuracy and to check for any alerts or messages about your new account. On a quarterly basis you will also receive an email advising you that your statement is online and ready to be viewed. Other email correspondence may arrive depending on the type of account you have, program updates and when your student will begin college. GET is moving toward a paperless environment, so email and online processes are preferred.

What if I move out-of-state after I open my account?

If you move out-of-state after opening your GET account, you can still make regular contributions and use your units for qualified higher education expenses. The value of your account will still be based on resident undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at the most expensive Washington public university at the time you use your units, regardless of where your child attends college.

I'm expecting a baby.  Can I open an account before my baby is born?

Yes, you can open an account during any annual enrollment period and list yourself as both the account owner and the student beneficiary.  After the baby is born and has a Social Security number, simply fill out a Change of Student Beneficiary Form (no fee) to add your child to the account.

GET units make great baby shower gifts too!

I have a high school student. Does GET still make sense for them?

If your child is 4 years or less away from entering college, you might consider other options. At the current unit price it may take at least six years before you see a measureable gain.

 

Who controls a GET account?
As the account owner, you maintain total control of your account and are the only one who can request account changes, distributions or a refund. The student beneficiary does not have any control over the account, unless he or she is also the account owner.


Why do I need to choose a payment plan? What are my options?

Picking a payment plan allows you to decide how much and how often you want to save. You have two options: (1) Lump Sum Plan and (2) Custom Monthly Plan.

  • The Lump Sum Plan is a “pay as you go" option. You buy units whenever you want. You can buy between 1 and 500 units per student. There is no monthly payment obligation and you don’t even have to buy whole units. The only time you are required to buy at least one unit is when you enroll. You are subject to the unit price increases (which may occur up to twice annually) because you pay whatever the current price is whenever you purchase units. In addition, you must hold your units in your account for at least two calendar years before you can use them.
  • The Custom Monthly Plan is a defined monthly payment plan. Your monthly payment remains the same throughout the term of your contract and includes a fixed 7.5 percent finance charge.* You can buy between 50 and 500 units. You choose your payment period based on when you plan to begin using your units (up to 18 years in the future) and how much you want to save each month. You can save on finance charges by choosing a shorter payment term. You can pay a lesser amount each month by choosing a longer payment term, but you will be paying more in interest. To use your units, your plan must have been open for at least two calendar years and be paid in full.

*The 7.5% finance charge is based on the total cost of contracted units and is compounded annually over the life of the contract. Finance charges have been factored into Custom Monthly Plan payment amounts and are not reduced if the contract is paid off early. Total finance charges may be reduced by shortening the term length or by reducing the number of units in the contract.


What if I want to set up a Custom Monthly Plan and buy Lump Sum units?  

  • If you do not have a GET account, you can sign up for a Custom Monthly Plan account during our annual open enrollment period. Our Custom Monthly accounts are automatically set up to also accept Lump Sum purchases. If you use the paper enrollment form, please complete both areas of section 5 and include your payment for your Lump Sum purchase with the enrollment form.
  • If you already have a Custom Monthly Plan account, it's easy. Send us your payment for additional Lump Sum units and include your GET account number and a note telling us that you want to buy additional units. If you recently enrolled online, please include a copy of your enrollment summary.
  • If you already have a Lump Sum Plan account, you can add a Custom Monthly Plan to your account only during our annual enrollment period. You will need to complete a Custom Monthly Plan Addition form and submit it before the end of the enrollment period.  Please refer to the Custom Monthly Payment table for monthly payment amounts.


What if I suddenly can't make the monthly payment on my Custom Monthly Plan?
If you can no longer make the payments on your Custom Monthly contract, you have four options:

  • Convert your Custom Monthly Plan to a Lump Sum Plan and end your monthly payments.
  • Reduce the total number of units in your contract to lower your monthly payment.
  • Increase the total number of years in your contract to lower your monthly payment. Please note that your contract must be paid in full before you can use your units.

To make changes to your contract, please complete an Account Change Request form. To request a refund, please complete a Refund/Cancellation Request form.

Can I pay off my Custom Monthly Plan early?

You can pay off your Custom Monthly Plan early, although you won't automatically save on finance charges. The Custom Monthly Plan is not like a car loan where you can pay additional principal. However, there are other options available to save on finance charges if you are considering paying off your Custom Monthly Plan.  Please call Customer Service for details.



If I sign up for a Custom Monthly Plan and later decide I want to buy more units, what could I do?
You have two options:

  • If you set up a Custom Monthly contract during a previous enrollment period, you would need to set up a second Custom Monthly contract during an open enrollment period. Your new contract would be priced at the new rate.
  • You could buy additional Lump Sum units at the new unit price in one purchase or through a series of smaller purchases. Each purchase would be based on the unit price in effect at the time.


If I buy units through the Lump Sum Plan, how do I buy more units? Do I have to fill out another enrollment form?
You do not have to complete a new enrollment form to buy more Lump Sum units. At any time you can send a payment for the purchase of additional units.  Just include your account number with the payment.  Your payment can purchase whole or partial units. If you bought fewer than 500 units when you enrolled, we'll send you a coupon book for future purchases. If you have designated giftors who can contribute money to your account, they'll receive coupon books too.


How do I add a Custom Monthly Plan to a Lump Sum Plan account?
You may add a Custom Monthly Plan to your existing Lump Sum Plan account for the same student ONLY during the annual enrollment period, unless your child is less than 12 months old.  Children from birth to the date of their first birthday may open any new account year-round. To add a monthly plan you simply complete a Custom Monthly Plan Addition form, available to download or complete online. Your form must be received online or (if mailed) postmarked by midnight on the last day of enrollment to lock into the current unit price. Your Custom Monthly Plan will be based on the rates of the current enrollment year and will include a fixed 7.5 percent finance charge. You don't have to pay an additional enrollment fee.

How do I change ownership on the account?

You may change the Account Owner on your GET account by completing the Account Owner Change form. The current Account Owner will designate a new Account Owner by returning the completed form with a notarized signature. Please mail the original form to GET Program, PO Box 43450, Olympia, WA 98504-3450.


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Buying GET Units

How do I make a payment?
You have four options:

  • Coupon book.  Unless you chose automatic bank withdrawal or payroll deduction, you'll receive a coupon book that you can use to include with your payment. Authorized giftors on your account also will receive coupon books. Please make checks payable to GET and mail to: GET Program, P.O. Box 84824, Seattle, WA 98124-6124. You can also simply send us a check with the account number on it and a note requesting to purchase additional units. If you have a Custom Monthly Plan, tell us if you want the check to apply toward your monthly payments or to purchase additional Lump Sum units. For Lump Sum unit purchases, the current unit price always applies.
  • Online payments.
    You can transfer money from your bank directly to your GET account through our electronic bank transfer system. US Bank charges a $1 transaction fee for this service. You can access your account and complete this transaction with your Login ID and Password.  Tips on making an electronic payment.

How many units should I buy?

You decide how many units to buy, from a minimum of one unit to a maximum of 500 units per child. You can use up to 125 units each academic year. Unused units from one year automatically roll over to the next year.

One hundred units are guaranteed by the state to cover one year of resident undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at the most expensive Washington public university, either the University of Washington or Washington State University. If your student attends a less expensive college, such as a community college, you'll need fewer units for tuition and can use your extra units for books, room and board, or other qualified higher education expenses. If your student attends a private or out-of-state school that costs more, you'll simply pay the difference.



Can more than one person contribute to my GET account?
Yes, anyone can contribute to your GET account. Buying units is a great gift idea for grandparents, other family members, and friends. You can name "giftors" who can contribute money to your account. Give your giftor one of your coupons or download a Giftor Authorization form and mail it to us. We'll send your giftor a coupon book. All gift payments to your account belong to you, the account owner.

If you have a Custom Monthly Plan, we'll apply all contributions to your Custom Monthly account unless your giftor specifies that the money should be used to buy Lump Sum units.

Can I supplement my savings in GET through other types of investments?
Yes, saving with GET is an excellent foundation for your children's or grandchildren's future college expenses because it's guaranteed. However, a maximum of 500 units may be purchased per student. Many families fully fund a GET account then continue to save in other ways to help with additional college expenses.

Can I contribute to more than one type of 529 plan?
Yes, in fact contributing to both types of 529 plans (prepaid and savings) is an excellent way to ensure more college expenses will be covered.

Can I buy GET units by transferring or rolling over money from other accounts?
You can make the following transfers or rollovers.

  • Another 529 program. You can authorize the direct rollover of money from another qualified 529 plan to your GET account. If you want the other 529 plan to send the distribution directly to GET, you may need to complete one of their forms. Then complete an Incoming Rollover/Transfer form.

Please review IRS Publication 970 and the "Tax Matters" section of GET Program Details. We also encourage you to consult your tax advisor because these transactions may be taxable.

 Acceptable Rollover Documentation Sample (1)

 Acceptable Rollover Documentation Sample (2)

Can I roll over funds FROM the GET Program to another 529 program?
The GET Program currently does not allow this type of rollover. If you want to transfer funds to another 529 program, you must request a non-qualified refund of your units and pay any applicable program penalties and fees. You also will pay federal taxes and penalties on the earnings portion of the refund unless you reinvest the funds in a qualifying account in another 529 program within 60 days. Please complete a Refund/Cancellation Request form and review our Cancellation and Refund Policy for more information. We also encourage you to consult your tax advisor because this transaction may be taxable.

Can I buy GET units with funds from an existing UGMA or UTMA custodial account?
Funds invested in an UGMA or UTMA account (Uniform Gift to Minors Act/Uniform Transfer to Minors Act) belong to the minor. The custodian has a legal obligation to use the funds solely for the benefit of the minor. To maintain the proper ownership of these funds, a GET account must name the minor as both the account owner and the student beneficiary. You'll need to name a custodian or trustee to manage the account on the minor's behalf.

Once you set up your GET account, you can liquidate the UGMA or UTMA account and send the funds to the GET Program. Please consult your tax advisor because this transaction may be taxable. Finally, we recommend that you open a second GET account for additional contributions. You'll own the funds in this second account. The child will own all money in the first account (transferred UTMA/UGMA funds).

How is the GET unit price determined?
The GET unit purchase price is based on an actuarial formula which incorporates several factors, including estimated future tuition, projected inflation and investment returns, and administrative costs. It also includes a reserve to assist in periods of lower-than-expected investment returns or higher-than-expected tuition increases, and amortization of past losses. The GET Committee sets the unit price annually, and may adjust it once annually.

I bought units last year.  Do I need to report anything on my federal income tax return?

If you made contributions to your account but did not make any withdrawals, you generally don't need to report anything on your federal income tax return.  Your contributions are non-deductible.  Please review IRS Publication 970 or consult a tax advisor for details.

How can I deactivate or change my automatic monthly bank withdrawal? If you are the Account Owner you may log in to your GET account online and select "Payment Options," then click the "Automatic Monthly Bank Withdrawals" tab. Click the "delete" button to deactivate your current withdrawal. Click "new request" to set up a withdrawal for a different amount. When purchasing additional units, make sure you have enough time before you plan to use them. Units must be held two years and should be held at least six years to see financial gain.

If you have a Custom Monthly Plan, any changes will need to be done at least three business days prior to the 15th of the month, or the payment will be withdrawn from the account as scheduled.

If you are a Giftor on the account  you will need to complete the Automatic Withdrawal Authorization form and select Deactivate or Change. Please mail original form to GET Program, PO Box 43450, Olympia, WA 98504-3450. We will need to receive the form at least a week prior to the regularly scheduled withdrawal to ensure enough time for processing.

 


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Using My GET Units


How do I access my account when my child is ready to begin college?
In the spring before your student will begin college, we'll provide you with information about how to use your units. You, as the account owner, must initiate all distributions from your account.

When it's time for college, you'll need to choose your payment option. To have GET send a payment directly to the school, complete a Direct Payment Request form for each term your student will attend.  Or pay the school yourself and request reimbursement by completing a Reimbursement Request form. You can find these forms on the Brochures and Forms page under "Use Your Units."

You can also complete these forms online by logging in to your GET account.


What if my child decides not to go to college?
As the account owner, you have four options:

  • Wait to see if your student decides otherwise later on.  Your student has up to 10 years from the time he or she can access the units to use the funds.
  • Transfer the funds to another family member with an existing account by completing a Transfer Request form. There is a lifetime maximum of 500 units per student.

 

How soon can I use my GET units?

You must hold Lump Sum and Custom Monthly units for at least two calendar years before you can use them. In addition, your Custom Monthly contract must be paid in full. Please note that the longer the units remain in your account, the greater your long-term return on investment will be. You should plan to hold your GET units for at least six years before you can expect to see measureable gain.

How many units can I use each academic year?

You can use up to 125 eligible units per academic year and any unused units rolled over from previous years of eligibility. The academic year runs from August 1 - July 31.

How is the value of my account determined?
One GET unit equals 1 percent of the resident undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at the most expensive Washington public university at the time of use. We determine this value, known as the unit "payout value," at the beginning of each academic year when the state public universities set their own tuition rates.

The current payout value of one GET unit is $117.82 (effective through July 31, 2015).

Example 1: Your student attends a Washington public college.


Your student will attend The Evergreen State College and you have 100 eligible units. Tuition at Evergreen is equal to about 75 units. Consequently, after paying tuition, you will have about 25 remaining GET units. You can use these units for books, housing and other qualified higher education expenses or wait and use them the following year.

Example 2: Your student attends a private or out-of-state college.

Your student will attend the University of Idaho as a non-resident. You would like to use 100 GET units to help cover the costs. For the 2014-2015 academic year, the payout value of one GET unit is $117.82. Therefore, 100 units are worth $11,782. You can use this amount to help offset your student's total costs. You and your student will be responsible for covering any remaining costs.

Why is the current GET unit price higher than the current GET unit payout value?
Because the state guarantees that the money you put into GET will keep pace with rising tuition, we must ensure that we always have sufficient funds available. The GET Committee sets the unit price twice annually which includes a premium over current tuition based on an actuarial formula. This formula includes current tuition, estimated future tuition, inflation, investment returns, administrative costs, and a reserve to assist in periods of lower-than-expected investment returns or higher-than-expected tuition increases. GET is a self-sustaining state program and receives no ongoing state appropriations.

Can a part-time student use this program?
Yes, you can use your GET units if your student attends school part-time. The value of your GET units will still be based on the resident undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at the most expensive public university in Washington.

Where can I use my units?
You can use your units at nearly any college, university or technical school - public or private - in the United States and selected colleges in other countries. In fact, GET has already helped students attend school in all 50 states and 14 foreign countries. A college is eligible if it participates in federal financial aid programs through the U.S. Department of Education. To view a list of eligible schools or to verify a federal school code, visit the US. Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Web site.

If your student attends a private or out-of-state college, you'll have to pay the difference between the value of your GET units and the college's tuition.  In addition, enrollment in the GET Program does not guarantee that your student will pay in-state resident tuition or be admitted to any school.

Can I use my GET account for graduate school?

Yes.  However, if tuition for graduate school is higher than resident undergraduate tuition at the most expensive Washington public university, you'll pay the difference.

My child is taking college-level courses through the Running Start program.  Can I use my GET account to pay for them?

You can use your GET account to pay for books and other eligible out-of-pocket expenses that are required for Running Start courses.  You cannot request reimbursement for tuition since it is subsidized and not an out-of-pocket expense.

What will my units cover?
GET units are designed to pay college tuition. However, if you have eligible units after paying tuition, you can use them to pay for room and board, books and other qualified higher education expenses. Review IRS Publication 970 for details.

You can use up to 125 eligible units per academic year and any unused units from a previous year. For example, if you have 250 units and use 100 units in the first year, you could use 150 units in the second year (25 leftover units + 125 units = 150 units).

If you use your units for room and board, you can pay up to the total room and board allowance calculated by the college in its Cost of Attendance budget.  Check with your child's college financial aid office to determine its room and board allowance.


What are state-mandated fees?
State-mandated fees are required by state law and charged to every student who attends a Washington public college or university. They include operating, building, and services and activities fees. They do not include fees imposed by an individual school. These school-required fees may include technology fees, library fees, recreation fees, fees to secure repayment of bonded indebtedness or other types of fees. These fees are not considered state-mandated fees and, therefore, are not included when determining the GET unit payout value. However, you can use your units to pay these additional fees if you have extra units available after paying tuition and state-mandated fees.


How will a GET account affect my child's eligibility for financial aid?
A GET account is considered an asset of the account owner. If the parent or dependent student is the account owner, the GET account is considered an asset of the parent and treated like any other parental asset in determining a family's eligibility for federal financial aid.  A parent's assets are assessed at a much lower rate than a student's. Consequently, a GET account has significantly less impact on the student's eligibility for financial aid, as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Web site.

What if my child receives a scholarship?

You have four options:

  • Wait and hold your units for use in the future. Your child has up to 10 years to use his or her units and may want to use them for graduate school.
  • Transfer the account to a family member, as long as you don't exceed the maximum 500 units per student.

 

How can I transfer units between family members?

  • You can only transfer units between GET accounts of qualifying family members as defined by the IRS. If both students have a GET account, you may simply transfer the units by completing a Transfer Request Form. This form requires the Account Owner’s notarized signature.
  • If you want to transfer all the units, you may just change the name of the Student Beneficiary on the account by completing a Student Beneficiary Change Form. This form also requires the Account Owner’s notarized signature.  Please mail original forms to GET Program, PO BOX 43450, Olympia, WA 98504-3450.
  • If you need to establish a new GET account to make the transfer to another student, you need to complete the enrollment within the enrollment year (November 1 – May 31), unless the new account is for a child under 12 months of age.  A student may have multiple accounts but may have a total of no more than 500 units.

My student's college needs the payment for fall term right away. What should I do?

You have two options:

  • Contact the Student Account's Office at your child's college and tell them your payment request from your GET account will take up to 14 days to process.  You might ask if they will place a hold on his or her account to allow time for the payment to arrive.  Some colleges will do this if they know they will receive guaranteed funding from GET.

  • Pay the tuition bill yourself and then request reimbursement from your GET account.  This can be done online by accessing your account with your Login ID and Password, then completing a Reimbursement Request Form.

I submitted my Direct Payment Request on time, and the payment deadline for my child's college has passed.  Why hasn't the money been distributed from my GET account?

Some of the large Washington public colleges ask us to batch payments for each term, which allows them to receive one payment for all students.  The colleges often post the GET funds to the student's account and then request payment from GET, typically after the deadline has passed. To see if this applies to you, log in to your account to verify that your online Direct Payment Request is in "approved" status and that the information you submitted, including the payment term and date, is correct.  If you have additional questions, please call us.

 

Will I be able to use my GET account to study abroad?

You can use GET directly to cover qualified higher education expenses (tuition, room & board, etc.) at any of the schools in foreign countries that are listed on the FAFSA Web site. There are many international schools listed; just choose “State,” then “Foreign Country” in the search menu to view the complete list. Also, if tuition or other qualified higher education expenses for a study-abroad program will be paid directly to your university (for which GET is already approved), you can use GET as you normally would to cover them. The payment must go to an eligible institution. GET is unable to pay study abroad programs directly, or reimburse out-of-pocket expenses paid directly to these programs. Also, please note that travel to and from your destination is not considered a qualified higher education expense.

If a university charges differential tuition for a specific course of study, will my GET account cover that?

Differential tuition has not yet been fully defined by universities, nor has it yet been implemented. Your GET account can be used to pay these qualified higher education costs. However, the payout value for GET units, which is established at the beginning of each academic year, is based on tuition and state-mandated fees that are charged to all students at Washington's highest-priced public university. By definition in the Master Agreement, "State-mandated fees are those provided by statute, including operating, building and student activity fees." The statute (RCW 28B.15.031) defines operating fees as "the fees, other than building fees, charged all students registering at the state's colleges and universities..."



REMINDER
The new unit price will be posted here as soon as it is available.

Enrollment will reopen on November 1, 2014. Children from birth to 12 months of age may be enrolled year-round.
Plan Ahead - Enrollment reopens Nov. 1, 2014





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