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How GET Works

GET is open for enrollment with a unit price of $113. Find out how you can start your college savings today.

The GET program is Washington's 529 prepaid college tuition plan that helps families with young children save for future higher education expenses. The State of Washington guarantees that the value of your account will keep pace with the cost of college tuition, no matter how much it changes in the future. The earlier you start, the more time you have to save and the greater the opportunity for increased value of your GET account. GET account values are measured in "units," where 100 units equals the cost of one year of resident, undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at Washington’s highest priced public university. Individual units are valued at 1/100th of that cost. You can buy units in whole or partial amounts, from one to 600 units per student.

GET opened in 1998 as a way to help families save for their child's future higher education. Since then, 50,000 students have used over $1 billion in GET benefits to help pay for qualified higher education expenses at colleges, universities, and technical schools nationwide. Here are just some of the features that have made GET a popular program for Washington families:

State guarantee

Your GET account is guaranteed to keep pace with tuition and state-mandated fees at Washington’s highest priced public university. Your savings are not subject to the ups and downs of the stock market. 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).

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 your units to pay college costs practically anywhere in the country and even at schools around the world. Your GET account has the same monetary value whether your child attends a public university, a local community college or technical school, a private university, or a college in another state.

Tax-free savings and withdrawals

Because GET is a state 529 plan, the after-tax money you put in will grow tax-free. And when your child is ready for college, the money you withdraw will remain tax-free, as long as you use it for qualified higher education expenses.

Flexibility and control

You can use your GET account not only for tuition, but also for room and board, books, computers, or other qualified expenses. If your child chooses not to go to college or receives a scholarship, you can transfer your account to another family member, hold onto your account for a change of plans, save it for graduate school, or even request a refund. And, unlike some other savings options, you, as the account owner, maintain complete control over the account and how the distributions are used.

Easy ways to save

You can buy units up front in one lump sum, add funds whenever you have extra money to contribute, set up a monthly payment plan, or choose a combination of methods. You decide how much and how often to save. If your needs or finances change, you can adjust your plan. You can open an account for anyone – your child, grandchild, friend or even yourself.  The only requirement is that either the account owner or the student is a Washington resident when you enroll in the program.

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