GET Unit Price and Payout Value
The 2013-2014 enrollment period opens November 1, 2013. However, newborns may be enrolled year-round up to their first birthday. The current unit price is $172.
The GET committee sets the unit purchase price based on an actuarial formula that takes into account the expected cost of future tuition, the expected return on investments, inflation, administrative costs, and a reserve to assist in periods of higher-than-expected tuition increases or lower-than-expected investment returns.
GET units purchased today are usually spent 10-15 years in the future, and your GET account is guaranteed to match tuition costs when your child is ready for college. Consider what the price of tuition will likely be at that time. GET is a self-sustaining program and receives no ongoing state appropriations.
The current payout value for one GET unit is $117.82 (effective through July 31, 2014).
The payout value of a GET unit is established at the beginning of each academic year when the state public universities set their tuition rates. One GET unit represents 1/100th of the actual resident, undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at Washington's most expensive public university - 100 units for the 2013-2014 academic year is valued at $11,782. Tuition has increased an average of 9.5% annually over the last decade.
The unit purchase price is higher than the current payout value because the state guarantees that the money you put into GET will always keep pace with tuition in the future, even if it doubles or triples in that time.
This "premium" over current tuition assures stability for the program. It will take about four or five years to realize a gain on your investment, but GET's increase in value is steady and guaranteed over the years.
Families that purchased GET Lump Sum units 10 years ago have seen nearly a 10% average annual return on their investment, without worrying about the ups and downs of the stock market.
The value of a GET unit is based on resident, undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at the highest priced Washington public university. GET units retain the same monetary value, whether you use them to attend UW or WSU, a local community college, or a private or out-of-state university.