How GET Works

How does GET Work?

GET is Washington's 529 Prepaid College Tuition plan that helps families save for college. The value of a GET account is measured in "units," where 100 units represent the cost of one year of resident, undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at the highest priced public university (either UW or WSU). Individual units are valued at 1/100th of that cost.

  • The unit cost is based on the unit price in effect today when you purchase them.
  • The future value of these units will be the actual price of resident, undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at the most expensive Washington public university (UW or WSU) at the time your child attends college. GET is GUARANTEED by the state of Washington to match rising tuition costs, even if they double or triple.
  • Units can be purchased in whole or partial amounts, from 1 to 500 units per student.
  • You can use the monetary value of your units to attend nearly any public or private university, community college or technical school in the country.
  • The monetary value remains the same wherever you use GET, so if your school costs more than UW or WSU, you apply the units you have and pay the difference. If it costs less, you can also use units to pay for room and board, books or other higher education costs.

How does the guarantee work? Is GET safe and secure?

  • Click here to read more about the GET guarantee.

How much does it cost?

  • The 2014-15 unit purchase price has not yet been set. It should be available by early September 2014, after the GET Committee meets and sets the price.
  • During a regular enrollment period (November 1 - May 31), you can enroll online or with a paper enrollment form. You will include a one-time $50 enrollment fee, and choose your plan. Newborns may be enrolled year-round.You need to purchase at least one unit on the Lump Sum or at least 50 units on the Custom Monthly Plan. Each student needs an individual account.
  • You can purchase any number of units, from one to 500 units per student. You can save through either the Lump Sum Plan (make contributions whenever you want) or the Custom Monthly Plan (contribute a specified amount each month). Or, you can choose a combination of both. The unit price is set annually, and may be adjusted once during the year. When you purchase Lump Sum units, you pay whatever unit price is in effect at the time of purchase. On a Custom Monthly Plan, you can "lock in" whatever is the current price and save for the number of units you want over time. GET is a self-sustaining program so Lump Sum units include a premium and the Custom Monthly Plan contains a 7.5% finance charge. This 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. You need to hold your units for at least two years before using them, and will need to hold them for at least six years before you realize a financial gain.

Why should I save for college with GET?

  • Your GET account is guaranteed to increase in value at the same rate of tuition increases at UW or WSU. Your savings are not subject to the ups and downs of the stock market.
  • As a 529 plan, GET offers tax-free growth and withdrawals for your savings
  • GET is flexible and easy to use. Relatives and friends can contribute to your account. Plans can be adjusted if your financial or personal circumstances change. If your child gets a scholarship or doesn't attend college, you can transfer your account to another family member or request a refund.
How do I get started?
  • First, open a GET account online and name the student as the beneficiary.
  • Second, choose what payment or savings plan works best for you and your family.
  • Third, make your contributions based on the plan you've chosen. Make checks payable to GET.
  • Finally, when your student is ready to attend college, tell GET to either pay the college directly or reimburse you for eligible expenses you've paid out of pocket.
Watch your savings grow! GET offers families the chance to provide for a child's future college expenses by putting money away today. The earlier you start saving, the greater the increased value of your GET account.

The 2014-15 unit price is $172.

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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