Start a GET account   |   Account Login   |   Latest News   |   Upcoming Events

National College Savings Month 2020 Promotion | Test Your WA529 College Savings Plan Knowledge – Can you get an A+?

| Leave a Comment

 

Premise:

The purpose of this promotion is to increase knowledge and awareness of Washington’s College Savings Plans during National College Savings Month.

 

 

How to Enter

Can You Get an A+?  Take the WA529 College Savings Plan Knowledge Quiz!  One Entry per person.

If you would like to participate you can take the quiz here:

https://www.tryinteract.com/share/quiz/5f493dcbf5a0d3001499abba

Opportunities to “study” for the Quiz:

  1. Attend a Knowledge Cafe webinar session in the WA529 Knowledge Cafe to learn basic facts about saving with a WA529 College Savings Plan. Click HERE to see registration dates and times.
  2. Browse our website for a refresher on program details

 

How to Win

Ranking in the top five highest scores on the Quiz! (there may be tiebreaker questions involved to determine the winners) See below for details on determining the top five scores.

 

Promotion Dates

This promotion will run Sept 8, 2020 at 8:00 am to Sept 30, 2020 at 5:00 pm (Pacific Time)

 

Announcing Winners:

5 Winners will be contacted via the email provided at the time of entry. The tablet winner must acknowledge receipt within three (3) business days of the Winner announcement email  to confirm their desired mailing address to be used for Amazon shipping; also providing WA529 with requested full name, mailing address, email and phone number, before the prize will be sent by Amazon.

 

Prize

Amazon All-new Fire HD 8 Plus Tablet valued at $109

 

DISCLAIMER INFORMATION

WA529’s College Savings Month promotion will take place from September 8, 2020 at 8:00 am – until September 30, 2020 at 5:00 pm (Pacific Time). Each participant must be 18 years or older to win.  One entry per person. Contestants participate by completing the online WA529 College Saving Plan Knowledge Quiz. Five (5) Winners will be determined by skill, with a perfect score on the quiz. (Tiebreaker questions may be used to determine the Five winners.  A link to the Tie Breaker Quiz questions will be email to qualifying contestants within 48 hours of the closing date of the promotion if necessary to determine winners.  The link will be sent via the email provided by the participant at the time the original quiz was taken.) The Five winners will be notified no later than 5:00 pm, Friday, October 9, 2020, via email address provided at the time of entry. If winners are not yet finalized, the announcement could be delayed. The tablet winner must acknowledge receipt within three (3) business days of the Winner announcement email  to confirm their desired mailing address to be used for Amazon purchase and shipping; also providing WA529 with requested full name, mailing address, email and phone number, before the prize can be sent by Amazon. If any contestant fails to confirm their contact information within three (3) business days, their entry is disqualified.  Washington Student Achievement Council employees and their families are not eligible for this promotion. For full details please read the Official Rules below.  Amazon does not support or endorse this promotion or Washington College Savings Plans.

OFFICIAL RULES:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE CHANCE OF WINNING.

  1. Eligibility: This promotion is open to all legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age as of the date of entry. You need not be a WA529 (GET or DreamAhead) Account owner to be eligible, nor does being an account owner increase your chance of winning. The promotion is void where prohibited by law. Employees of Washington Student Achievement Council, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, and suppliers, (collectively the “Employees”), and immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of Employees are not eligible to participate in the promotion. The promotion is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.
  2. Agreement to Rules: By participating, the Contestant (“You”) agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these Rules, and You represent and warrant that you meet the eligibility requirements. In addition, you agree to accept the decisions of Washington Student Achievement Council as final and binding as it relates to the content of this promotion.
  3. Promotion Period: Entries will be accepted online starting on September 8, 2020 and ending at 5:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time on September 30, 2020. All entries must be received by 5:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time on September 30, 2020.
  4. How to Enter:   The Promotion must be entered by completing our online WA529 College Savings Plan Knowledge Quiz. Contestants have opportunities to “study” for the quiz by either attending a Knowledge Cafe webinar session (In the Knowledge Cafe you will learn basic facts about saving with a WA529 College Savings Plan.) or read program information on our WA529 websites. Alternate means of entry: send a postcard with your name, address, phone number and email address to Washington Student Achievement Council, PO Box 43450, Olympia, WA 98504-3450.  A paper quiz will be sent to the address provided.  The quiz must be completed and returned to the Washington Student Achievement Council by 5:00 pm (Pacific Time), September 30, 2020. The entry must fulfill all promotion requirements, as specified, to be eligible to win a prize. You must provide the information requested. One entry per person. You may not enter more times than indicated by using multiple email addresses, identities, or devices in an attempt to circumvent the rules. If You use fraudulent methods or otherwise attempt to circumvent the rules, your submission may be removed from eligibility at the sole discretion of Washington Student Achievement Council.
  5. Prizes: The Winner(s) of the promotion (the “Winner”) will receive one Amazon All-new Fire HD 8 Plus Tablet, valued at approximately $109, to be shipped directly from Amazon. Actual/appraised value may differ at time of prize award. The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by Washington Student Achievement Council. No cash or other prize substitution shall be permitted except at Washington Student Achievement Council’s discretion. The prize is nontransferable. Any and all prize-related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes, shall be the sole responsibility of Winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by Winner is permitted. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for Washington Student Achievement Council to use Winner’s name, likeness, and entry for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.
  6. Odds: The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  7. Winner Selection and Notification: Winners will be determined by skill, under the supervision of Washington Student Achievement Council. Entrants have opportunity to learn more about College Savings Plans by participating in Knowledge Café webinars and browsing the program website. Entrants will participate in a Knowledge Quiz about WA529 College Savings program information. The quiz will consist of 15 questions of varying difficulty. Winners will be determined by ranking in the top five scores. If more than five entrants answer every question correctly, a link to a five question tiebreaker quiz will be emailed to qualifying contestants and will be used to determine the top five scores/winners. No more than five winners will be selected. If more than five “finalist” entrants answer all the tiebreaker questions correctly, they will each be sent an additional tiebreaker question until five or fewer winners remain. (If no entrants answer every question correctly on the main quiz, winners will be selected by ranking the five highest scores, using the tiebreaker quiz questions if necessary.) Winner will be notified by email, The winner must acknowledge receipt within three (3) business days of the Winner announcement email  to confirm their desired mailing address to be used for Amazon purchase and shipping; also providing WA529 with requested full name, mailing address, email and phone number, before the tablet can be sent by Amazon. If any contestant fails to confirm their contact information within three (3) business days of the notification email being sent, their entry is disqualified. Washington Student Achievement Council shall have no liability for Winner’s failure to receive notices due to spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for Winner’s provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If Winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within three (3) business days from the time the award notification was sent, the prize may be forfeited. Receipt by Winner of the prize offered in this promotion is conditioned upon compliance with any and all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY WINNER (AT WASHINGTON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT COUNCIL’S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN WINNER’S DISQUALIFICATION AS WINNER OF THE CAMPAIGN, AND ALL PRIVILEGES AS WINNER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED.
  8. Rights Granted by You: By entering this content (e.g., photo, video, text, etc.), You understand and agree that Washington Student Achievement Council, anyone acting on behalf of Washington Student Achievement Council, and Washington Student Achievement Council’s licensees, successors, and assigns, shall have the right, where permitted by law, to print, publish, broadcast, distribute, and use in any media now known or hereafter developed, in perpetuity and throughout the World, without limitation, your entry, name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness, image, statements about the Promotion, and biographical information for news, publicity, information, trade, advertising, public relations, and promotional purposes. without any further compensation, notice, review, or consent. Optional verbiage for Contests: By entering this contest, You represent and warrant that your entry is an original work of authorship, and does not violate any third party’s proprietary or intellectual property rights. If your entry infringes upon the intellectual property right of another, You will be disqualified at the sole discretion of Washington Student Achievement Council, If the content of your entry is claimed to constitute infringement of any proprietary or intellectual proprietary rights of any third party, You shall, at your sole expense, defend or settle against such claims. You shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Washington Student Achievement Council from and against any suit, proceeding, claims, liability, loss, damage, costs or expense, which Washington Student Achievement Council may incur, suffer, or be required to pay arising out of such infringement or suspected infringement of any third party’s right.
  9. Terms & Conditions: Washington Student Achievement Council reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the promotion should virus, bug, non-authorized human intervention, fraud, or other cause beyond Washington Student Achievement Council’s control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, or proper conduct of the Promotion. In such case, Washington Student Achievement Council may select the Winner from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by Washington Student Achievement Council. Washington Student Achievement Council reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Promotion or website or violates these Terms & Conditions. Washington Student Achievement Council has the right, in its sole discretion, to maintain the integrity of the promotion, to void votes for any reason, including, but not limited to: multiple entries from the same user from different IP addresses; multiple entries from the same computer in excess of that allowed by promotion rules; or the use of bots, macros, scripts, or other technical means for entering. Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of the promotion may be a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such attempt be made, Washington Student Achievement Council reserves the right to seek damages to the fullest extent permitted by law.
  10. Limitation of Liability: By entering, You agree to release and hold harmless Washington Student Achievement Council and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers, and directors from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim, or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from: (i) such entrant’s participation in the promotion and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof; (ii) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunction of any computer, cable, network, hardware, or software, or other mechanical equipment; (iii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions, telephone, or Internet service; (iv) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (v) electronic or human error in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries.
  11. Disputes: THIS promotion IS GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, WITHOUT RESPECT TO CONFLICT OF LAW DOCTRINES. As a condition of participating in this promotion, participant agrees that any and all disputes that cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this promotion, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in Washington state having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances shall participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to, punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees, other than participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering this Promotion). Participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.
  12. Privacy Policy: Information submitted with an entry is subject to the Privacy Policy stated on the Washington Student Achievement Council website. To read the Privacy Policy, visit https://www.get.wa.gov/privacy.
  13. Winners List: To obtain a copy of the Winner’s name or a copy of these Official Rules, mail your request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Washington Student Achievement Council, PO Box 43450, Olympia, WA 98504-3450. Requests must be received no later than October 31, 2020, at 5:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time.
  14. Sponsor: The Sponsor of the Promotion is Washington Student Achievement Council PO Box 43450, Olympia, WA 98504-3450.
  15. Facebook: The Promotion hosted by Washington Student Achievement Council is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.

 

Posted in: Uncategorised

Leave a Comment


National College Savings Month: Escape the Chaos of the Present by Planning for the Future

| Leave a Comment

It’s September, and in a routine world, that means students are heading back to school. But as we’re all aware, in the age of COVID-19, this is no routine world.

Many school districts and college campuses have altered their plans for student attendance, going “virtual” because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Some are still standing by the traditional face-to-face classroom model.

As of this writing, there may still be a college football season of some kind. Or, there may not be. That alone could be the deciding factor for many students still on the fence over whether they will live on campus or at home this fall.

In the midst of all this uncertainty, here’s one undeniable truth you can still count on: September is National College Savings Month. With Back to School top of mind for most students and parents, this is an ideal time to establish a habit of saving and investing for your child’s future education.

Nearly every state in the U.S. offers some form of 529 plan: either a prepaid plan, an investment plan, or both. 529 plans are tax advantaged, in that growth and withdrawals are free from federal taxes when used for qualified higher education expenses like tuition, fees, books, computers, and even some living expenses. In addition, 34 states including the District of Columbia offer a state income tax benefit.

In terms of simple math, saving for higher education over time makes infinitely more sense than borrowing and paying it off later. It boils down to this: when you’re saving, your money earns interest; when you borrow, you’re charged interest. At today’s interest rates, saving $100 a month over your child’s first 18 years will result in an accumulation of nearly $40,000 on just $21,600 in savings. If you were to take a student loan for that same $40,000 at a competitive 4% interest rate, Bankrate.com’s student loan calculator computes your payment at more than $240 a month for 20 years, for a total repayment of more than $58,000. Clearly, the old adage, “Saving a dollar today is better than borrowing one tomorrow” is true.

Although 529 plans were established with college costs in mind, the trend in recent years shows many students opting to skip college in favor of more specialized vocational training. To that end, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, signed into law last December, adds the cost of apprenticeships and student loan payments to the list of qualified expenses.

2020 is shaping up to be one of the most volatile and unpredictable years on record. One way you can provide a little stability to your child’s future education plans is to save with a 529 plan. National College Savings Month is a great time to get started.

Unsure which plan is best for you? Clarify your options using CSPN’s plan comparison page.

 

Posted in: Uncategorised

Leave a Comment


How Will My 529 Plan Affect My Financial Aid?

| Leave a Comment

Families often wonder what the effects of 529 plans are on financial aid and how the two work together. The answer depends on a couple of key questions: who owns the plan and when withdrawals are taken. In most cases, your 529 plan will have a minimal effect on the amount of aid you receive and will actually end up helping you more than hurting you.

The value of a 529 plan owned by a student or a parent is considered a parental asset on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). According to CollegeSavings.org and Savingforcollege.com, approximately the first $20,000 will fall under the Asset Protection Allowance (the exact amount depends on the parents’ age). Any parental assets beyond that amount will reduce a student’s aid package by a maximum of 5.64% of the asset’s value when determining the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the amount the student’s family is expected to pay for the student’s higher education costs for that academic year. The financial aid formula assumes, at most, your family will use 5.64% of parent investments for college costs (even though your family likely plans to use 100% of your college savings account to pay for college!). That’s good news for savers. For example, if your family has $25,000 in a 529 account, the financial aid office will assume only $1,400 is available to use for college costs (that’s only $1,400 you won’t receive in financial aid). Any amount you can save will be much more beneficial to you than the small amount you won’t receive in financial aid.

Things change when the account is owned by a relative. The student will have nothing to report on the FAFSA while the money is sitting in a relative-owned 529 plan, but any withdrawals used to pay for their college will be counted as untaxed income on the FAFSA. Savingforcollege.com gives this example: Let’s say a grandmother wants to cover a full year of her grandson’s tuition at a private college, which costs $45,000. He’ll be a freshman in the fall, and he plans on applying for financial aid every year. Due to FAFSA using prior-prior year’s info (the year before the prior tax year), on his first and second FAFSA, he’ll have nothing to report. However, when he applies for federal aid for the third year of college his untaxed student income that was generated from Grandma’s gift may reduce his aid package by as much as $22,500. SavingforCollege.com suggests transferring account ownership to the student’s parent, keeping in mind the funds will be counted as a parental asset and reduce the following year’s aid package up to $2,538 ($45,000 x 5.64%).

Saving and paying for college can be confusing and nerve wracking but you have favorable options. Take advantage. It’s always a good idea to consult a financial advisor and/or your 529 plan’s customer service department before making any decisions. To learn more about your WA529 plan make sure to visit our Knowledge Cafe where we deliver free weekly webinars complete with Q&A sessions at the end. For more info visit https://www.get.wa.gov/webinars

 

Posted in: Uncategorised

Leave a Comment


A New Hope

| Leave a Comment

Over the last few months, nearly every aspect of our everyday lives and societal norms seems to have been turned upside down and stomped on. I think it’s safe to say that 2020 is a year most of us may want to forget as soon as possible – but will likely remember for a long time.

For my wife, Anna, and I, 2020 will be impossible to forget. In February we welcomed our first child, Hope, into the world. Her name choice seemed inconsequential when we picked it out back in late 2019. At the time we just thought that Hope was a pretty name, it wasn’t overly popular (yet), and it gave us – you guessed it – ‘hope’ for the future. If only we had known how prophetic this naming decision would be. Ironically, in our quest to be somewhat unique, it turns out that Hope has become quite the popular pandemic baby name. Begrudgingly, I suppose we can share our Hope’s name with the ten other “Hopes” who will be going through school with her. I think we are all in need of some hope right now.

Life with a newborn, while exhausting at times (well, all the time), is more amazing and awe-inspiring than I ever thought it could be. Nearly five months into this new adventure Hope has already outgrown her clothes three times, is almost rolling over on her own, and has perfected her happy pterodactyl screech. Best of all she’s really starting to show her personality and is a ton of fun!

As I watch Hope grow up at what seems like light speed, I can’t help but think of the stories I hear from all those brave parents who have gone before me.

   “They’ll grow up in the blink of an eye!”

   ”Enjoy this stage while it lasts!”

   ”You’ll turn around and all of a sudden they’ll be heading off to college!”

That last one really hits home for me given my career choice of helping families save for future college costs. I count myself lucky to work in the 529 College Savings Plan industry, because I have had a head start that many new parents don’t. The importance of saving for future education costs was ingrained in me well before I even considered having kids. I didn’t think twice about opening and funding a 529 savings account for Hope before she was born. Yet, even with this head start, I’m still anxious that just as Anna and I start getting the hang of this parenting thing, it will already be time for college, and we won’t have done enough to prepare.

So where do we go from here?

As a parent, I’m going to do my best to keep my future education savings efforts going for Hope with regular contributions. And you can believe I won’t be shy about reminding Hope’s doting grandparents that philanthropic contributions to her 529 account make great gifts for birthdays, holidays, tying shoes for the first time or other exciting milestones we celebrate in Hope’s life.

As a 529 plan administrator, I’m going to continue spreading the good word of 529 plans around the state of Washington and keep fighting in our quest to significantly reduce the $1.6 trillion student debt problem. Together we can start a new chapter for our children’s futures by providing opportunity for them beginning with contributions to college savings accounts and of course, letting hope lead the way.

About the Author

Luke Minor is the Director of Washington State’s College Savings Plans (WA529), which include the GET Prepaid Tuition Program and the DreamAhead College Investment Plan. Since 1998, tens of thousands of students have used more than $1.4 billion of their WA529 savings to attend colleges in all 50 states and at least 15 foreign countries. In his free time, Luke enjoys getting outside with his wife, newborn daughter, and two wild dogs.

 

Posted in: Uncategorised

Leave a Comment


A Message To HR, Benefits and Payroll Representatives.

| Leave a Comment

Hello HR, Benefits and Payroll Representatives.

Health and financial wellness programs are a valuable component for attracting and retaining a strong and valuable workforce. In the ever changing world we live in, it’s important to provide your employees with learning opportunities that will support and improve their financial goals. Saving for education is among one of the most sought after topics today.

As an employer, you can provide the resources and education opportunities your employees need to prepare for their families’ future. Join me in an upcoming webinar WA529 in the Workplace – Enhancing Employer Benefits with WA529  to learn how Washington’s 529 Plans – The GET Program and DreamAhead College Investment Plan — can enhance your employee benefit offerings and help your employees invest in their future.

 Click on a date to register:

June 16, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.

June 25, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

Your employees can also take advantage of our virtual learning center called the “WA529 Knowledge Café” where we hold weekly webinars on topics that support savings, financial wellness, 529 plan knowledge and other college planning resources. By sharing the link with them, they can join any of these short, engaging and interactive discussions that also provide opportunities for casual conversations with Q & A time. Here are some of the dates/times for upcoming webinars:

 

WA529 Basics  – Get to know the GET Program and DreamAhead Plan

Learn how Washington’s 529 Plans – The GET Program and DreamAhead College Investment Plan work.

 

Click on a date to register:

June 9, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.

June 11, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

Gifting to a 529 Plan – Contributions Made Easy

Education is a gift that truly lasts a lifetime. Learn the different ways to contribute to a WA529 Plan for your child, grandchild or family member.

 

Click on a date to register:

June 18, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

June 23, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.

 

Posted in: Uncategorised

Leave a Comment


Stay-In & Enter to Win Amazon Gift Cards! *This promotion has ended*

| Leave a Comment

Weekly $50 winners:

Week 1-
Susan Brown, Tracy Whitmore, Melissa Busby, Vidian Cooper, Christina Rappin
Week 2-
Alison Van House, Curtis Lu, Veronica Richards, Danielle Stenvers, Melissa Hart
Week 3-
Mary Schultz, Kailin Jay, Peter Badame, Sara Sekerak, Julie Vinyard

 

Grand Prize Winners-

Margy Richardson

Arlene Grayer

Cheryl Berninghaus

Participate in WA529’s Virtual 529 Day Celebrations

May 6-29, 2020 11:59 am (noon) PDT 

PROMOTION INFORMATION

We recognize this is a unique time for us all,  so WA529 is getting creative with virtual opportunities to connect with Washington families who are interested in college savings plans or already saving for their child’s/grandchild’s future. To celebrate National 529 Day, WA529 is offering a Virtual Stay-in and Win promotion. Participate in one of our virtual challenges for the chance to win an Amazon Gift Card for as much as $529! 

Weekly Prizes to 5 lucky winners

 a $50 Amazon Gift Card awarded to each weekly winner  (5 per week, 15 winners total)

Grand Prizes will go to 3 lucky winners – 

a $529 Amazon Gift Card awarded to each grand prize winner (3 winners total)

HOW TO ENTER:   

There are 3 easy ways to enter to win, up to 3 entries per person each week if you choose to do all 3 activities. 

1.Participate in the Virtual Scavenger Hunt 

Find Hootie the Owl on the GET website – There are 3 Hootie images hidden on the website, each with a number next to it. Send us an email at wa529communications@wsac.wa.gov with the 3 numbers you found to be entered. 

2. Attend a Knowledge Cafe or webinar session 

In the Knowledge Cafe you will learn basic facts about saving with a WA529 College Savings Plan. Click HERE to see registration dates/times on our event calendar. 

3. Answer the weekly question and share on one of our Facebook posts about this promotion.

This week’s question: “Who is/was your child’s hero?”

Dates

This promotion will run May 6 – 29, 2020 at 11:59 am (noon) PDT.

Entries accepted for Week 1 – May 6, 2020 from 1:00 pm to May 8, 2020 at 11:59 am (noon) PDT.

Entries accepted for Week 2 – May 8, 2020 from 1:00 pm to May 15, 2020 at 11:59 am (noon) PDT.

Entries accepted for Week 3 – May 15, 2020 from 1:00 pm to May 22, 2020 at 11:59 am (noon) PDT.

Entries accepted for Week 4 – May 22, 2020 from 1:00 pm to May 29, 2020 at 11:59 am (noon) PDT

  • Weekly Winners will be contacted each Friday via email or Facebook messenger.
  • The Grand Prize winners will be contacted Friday, 5/29 via email or Facebook messenger.

 

DISCLAIMER INFORMATION

WA529’s Stay-in to Win promotion will take place from Tuesday, May 6, 2020 at 5:00 pm – until Friday, May 29, 2020 at 11:59 am (noon) PDT. Each participant must be 18 years or older to win.  Up to 3 entries total per person each week (one for each task completed) into the weekly drawings. Weekly participation ends at 11:59 am (noon) PDT  each Friday. Winners will be selected by random drawings from a pool of all participants. You may only be a weekly winner one time, however, each participant will automatically be entered into the final grand prize drawing on May 29, 2020 (including weekly winners). The Selected winners will be notified via email or Facebook direct message and will have thirty (30) days to claim their prize. If they do not, WA529 program staff will hold additional drawings until a selected winner claims his or her prize.  Washington Student Achievement Council employees and their families are not eligible for this promotion. For full details please read the Official Rules below.  Amazon does not support or endorse this promotion or Washington College Savings Plans.

Dates

This promotion will run May 6 – 29, 2020 at 11:59 am (noon) PDT.

Weekly Winners will be contacted each Friday via email or Facebook messenger.

The Grand Prize winners will be contacted Friday, 5/29 via email or Facebook messenger.

 

DISCLAIMER INFORMATION

WA529’s Stay-in to Win promotion will take place from Tuesday, May 6, 2020 at 5:00 pm – until Friday, May 29, 2020 at 11:59 am (noon) PDT. Each participant must be 18 years or older to win.  Up to 3 entries total per person each week (one for each task completed) into the weekly drawings. Weekly participation ends at 11:59 am (noon) PDT  each Friday. Winners will be selected by random drawings from a pool of all participants. You may only be a weekly winner one time, however, each participant will automatically be entered into the final grand prize drawing on May 29, 2020 (including weekly winners). The Selected winners will be notified via email or Facebook direct message and will have thirty (30) days to claim their prize. If they do not, WA529 program staff will hold additional drawings until a selected winner claims his or her prize.  Washington Student Achievement Council employees and their families are not eligible for this promotion. For full details please read the Official Rules below.  Amazon does not support or endorse this promotion or Washington College Savings Plans.

 

OFFICIAL RULES:  

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE THE CHANCES OF WINNING.

  1. Eligibility: This promotion is open to all legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age as of the date of entry. The promotion is void where prohibited by law. Employees of Washington Student Achievement Council, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, and suppliers, (collectively the “Employees”), and immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of Employees are not eligible to participate in the promotion. The promotion is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.
  2. Agreement to Rules: By participating, the Contestant (“You”) agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these Rules, and You represent and warrant that you meet the eligibility requirements. In addition, you agree to accept the decisions of Washington Student Achievement Council as final and binding as it relates to the content of this promotion.
  3. Promotion Period: Entries will be accepted online starting on May 6, 2020 and ending at 11:59 am Pacific Daylight Time on May 29, 2020. All online entries must be received by 11:59 am Pacific Daylight Time on May 29, 2020.
  4. How to Enter:   The Promotion must be entered by participating in one or all three of the 3 possible ways to enter. There are 3 easy ways to enter win each week, up to 3 entries per person each week if you choose to do all 3 activities for a total of up to 12 entries into the Grand Prize drawing.  1. Participate in the Virtual Scavenger Hunt Find Hootie the Owl on the GET website –  Find all 3 Hooties (just like the example above). Each Hootie will have a number next to it. Send us an email with the 3 numbers you found to be entered. 2. Attend a Knowledge Cafe or webinar sessions, In the Knowledge Cafe you will learn basic facts about saving with a WA529 College Savings Plan. Click HERE to see registration dates/times on our event calendar. 3. Answer our weekly question on one of our Facebook post about the promotion. Alternate means of entry: send a postcard with your name, address, phone number and email address to Washington Student Achievement Council, PO Box 43450, Olympia, WA 98504-3450.  The entry must fulfill all promotion requirements, as specified, to be eligible to win a prize. You must provide the information requested. You may not enter more times than indicated by using multiple email addresses, identities, or devices in an attempt to circumvent the rules. If You use fraudulent methods or otherwise attempt to circumvent the rules, your submission may be removed from eligibility at the sole discretion of Washington Student Achievement Council.
  5. Prizes: The Winner(s) of the promotion (the “Winner”) will receive one gift card from Amazon. Weekly winner(s) receive a $50 Amazon gift card.  Grand Prize winner(s) receive a $529 Amazon Gift Card. Actual/appraised value may differ at time of prize award. The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by Washington Student Achievement Council. No cash or other prize substitution shall be permitted except at Washington Student Achievement Council’s discretion. The prize is nontransferable. Any and all prize-related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes, shall be the sole responsibility of Winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by Winner is permitted. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for Washington Student Achievement Council to use Winner’s name, likeness, and entry for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.
  6. Odds: The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  7. Winner Selection and Notification: Winner will be selected by random drawing under the supervision of Washington Student Achievement Council. Winner will be notified by email, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram private message (provided by you at the time of entry) within five (5) days following selection of the Winner. Washington Student Achievement Council shall have no liability for Winner’s failure to receive notices due to spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for Winner’s provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If Winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within 3 days from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return a completed and executed declaration and release as required, the prize may be forfeited and an alternate Winner selected. Receipt by Winner of the prize offered in this promotion is conditioned upon compliance with any and all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY WINNER (AT WASHINGTON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT COUNCIL’S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN WINNER’S DISQUALIFICATION AS WINNER OF THE CAMPAIGN, AND ALL PRIVILEGES AS WINNER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED.
  8. Rights Granted by You: By entering this content (e.g., photo, video, text, etc.), You understand and agree that Washington Student Achievement Council, anyone acting on behalf of Washington Student Achievement Council, and Washington Student Achievement Council’s licensees, successors, and assigns, shall have the right, where permitted by law, to print, publish, broadcast, distribute, and use in any media now known or hereafter developed, in perpetuity and throughout the World, without limitation, your entry, name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness, image, statements about the Promotion, and biographical information for news, publicity, information, trade, advertising, public relations, and promotional purposes. without any further compensation, notice, review, or consent. Optional verbiage for Contests: By entering this content, You represent and warrant that your entry is an original work of authorship, and does not violate any third party’s proprietary or intellectual property rights. If your entry infringes upon the intellectual property right of another, You will be disqualified at the sole discretion of Washington Student Achievement Council, If the content of your entry is claimed to constitute infringement of any proprietary or intellectual proprietary rights of any third party, You shall, at your sole expense, defend or settle against such claims. You shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Washington Student Achievement Council from and against any suit, proceeding, claims, liability, loss, damage, costs or expense, which Washington Student Achievement Council may incur, suffer, or be required to pay arising out of such infringement or suspected infringement of any third party’s right.
  9. Terms & Conditions: Washington Student Achievement Council reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the promotion should virus, bug, non-authorized human intervention, fraud, or other cause beyond Washington Student Achievement Council’s control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, or proper conduct of the Promotion. In such case, Washington Student Achievement Council may select the Winner from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by Washington Student Achievement Council. Washington Student Achievement Council reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Promotion or website or violates these Terms & Conditions. Washington Student Achievement Council has the right, in its sole discretion, to maintain the integrity of the promotion, to void votes for any reason, including, but not limited to: multiple entries from the same user from different IP addresses; multiple entries from the same computer in excess of that allowed by promotion rules; or the use of bots, macros, scripts, or other technical means for entering. Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of the promotion may be a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such attempt be made, Washington Student Achievement Council reserves the right to seek damages to the fullest extent permitted by law.
  10. Limitation of Liability: By entering, You agree to release and hold harmless Washington Student Achievement Council and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers, and directors from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim, or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from: (i) such entrant’s participation in the promotion and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof; (ii) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunction of any computer, cable, network, hardware, or software, or other mechanical equipment; (iii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions, telephone, or Internet service; (iv) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (v) electronic or human error in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries.
  11. Disputes: THIS promotion IS GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, WITHOUT RESPECT TO CONFLICT OF LAW DOCTRINES. As a condition of participating in this promotion, participant agrees that any and all disputes that cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this promotion, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in Washington state having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances shall participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to, punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees, other than participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering this Promotion). Participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.
  12. Privacy Policy: Information submitted with an entry is subject to the Privacy Policy stated on the Washington Student Achievement Council website. To read the Privacy Policy, visit https://www.get.wa.gov/privacy.
  13. Winners List: To obtain a copy of the Winner’s name or a copy of these Official Rules, mail your request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Washington Student Achievement Council, PO Box 43450, Olympia, WA 98504-3450. Requests must be received no later than June 30, 2020, at 5:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time.
  14. Sponsor: The Sponsor of the Promotion is Washington Student Achievement Council PO Box 43450, Olympia, WA 98504-3450.
  15. Facebook: The Promotion hosted by Washington Student Achievement Council is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.

 

Posted in: Uncategorised

Leave a Comment


In These New Times

| Leave a Comment

Originally printed in U.S. News

In normal times, colleges and universities in the U.S. couldn’t simply flip a switch to become virtual learning institutions and continue to provide students federal financial aid without proper approval. But these are not normal times, as more than 100 institutions – and counting – have canceled in-person classes in an attempt to slow the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19 disease.

“One flexibility a lot of institutions are using is the ability to switch from in-person classes to distance ed and not have to go through all of those approval processes. They can just make that change right now in the middle of the term,” says Karen McCarthy, director of policy analysis at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

“If an institution chooses that option, those students are fully eligible for the financial aid they have received and there will not be those financial aid disruptions there would be if the institution completely closed,” she says.

Despite this guidance, the chaos that has ensued following the unprecedented campus closures and class cancellations has hit financial aid departments as they attempt to address student questions and concerns. More answers and flexibility in federal financial aid may come in emergency legislation, McCarthy says.

“There are unaddressed issues that the Department of Education doesn’t have the authority to be flexible on; those are issues for Congress.”

Last Thursday, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington introduced the Supporting Students in Response to Coronavirus Act, which includes $1.2 billion in emergency financial aid funding “to students in higher education to help address basic needs created by unexpected college closures and COVID-19 related disruptions, including food, housing, health care, and child care needs,” a fact sheet provided by NASFAA reads.

Students Face Unanticipated Costs as Campuses Close

As colleges pulled the plug on in-person classes in mid-March, some institutions also asked students to vacate campus in a matter of days. The move raised questions about room and board payments that had already been made by families and caused some backlash as students struggled to purchase last-minute flights and, in some cases, hire movers or find storage facilities for their belongings.

These costs can be particularly hard on low-income students, and on international students without nearby support.

Current Students in Most Cases Keep Their Financial Aid

Current students who continue their courses online due to canceled in-person classes will maintain their eligibility for federal financial aid.

However, not all courses can be easily translated – if at all – to online courses, such as labs and clinical practicums. Such classes may be canceled, and if a student drops down to part-time enrollment status, he or she may lose federal financial aid eligibility.

“Colleges are scrambling to try to figure out how to maximize distance education and do it wherever possible, but there are some classes where it’s just not feasible in any way,” McCarthy says. “If that is the case and the student’s enrollment status does change, that is one area where the Department of Ed doesn’t have flexibility in terms of keeping you classified as a full-time student in order to keep the aid you are eligible for.”

The Education Department has not yet fully addressed the financial aid outlook for admitted students planning to enroll in fall 2020 classes and students planning to take summer classes.

“These instructions do not contemplate accommodations for students who have not yet enrolled or whose term has not yet begun, with certain exceptions,” the department’s March 5 notice reads. “We will continue to monitor the situation and make a later determination of what accommodations may be necessary should longer-term interruptions become likely.”

Some Students May Receive More Financial Aid

In cases where a parent loses his or her employment as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, financial aid administrators may be able to adjust and thereby increase a student’s aid.

“The use of professional judgment where students and/or their families have been affected by COVID-19 is permitted, such as in the case where an employer closes for a period of time as a result of COVID-19,” guidance from the Education Department reads.

Department of Education Ensures Work-Study Payments

Affected students who rely on federal work-study can anticipate receiving that aid even as they may be learning off campus through virtual classrooms or their campuses are closed.

“If the college closes such that the student can no longer work their federal work-study job or their off-campus employer closes and they’re not able to work those hours, the Department of Education says so long as the student started work, they can pay the student,” Kantrowitz says.

“But this guidance didn’t say how the colleges will pay students,” he adds, and payment may vary depending on a student’s typical work schedule and other factors.

Resources for Financial Aid and Other Programs

For information and guidance regarding several topics including financial aid, merit-based programs and target work forces visit Washington Student Achievement Council’s financial aid page.

Posted in: Uncategorised

Leave a Comment


Peace of Mind

| Leave a Comment

 

Yet another item to add to the to-do list this time of year: Taxes. Just the word alone can make you want to grind your teeth. You’ll ask yourself when you’re going to do them 100 times before they actually get done. But you should also be asking yourself another question. If I get a refund, what should I use it for?

The tendency is to want to spend it on a vacation, toy or gadget or maybe a new wardrobe. Maybe you even decide to “do the smart thing” and save it.  But what for? A rainy day? Retirement? Christmas fund?

Those are all great but there is one more you should add to the list and that is your child’s future. Higher education is a concern that can easily be placed on the back burner. However, before you know it, it will be here just like tax season. Even if just part of your refund goes there, a dollar saved now is one less dollar you may have to borrow in the future. A great way to save for higher education is with The Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) plan.

As a prepaid tuition plan, GET guarantees that if you buy 100 units today, those units will always be worth one year of tuition and state-mandated fees at Washington’s most expensive public university, regardless of how much tuition changes. You don’t have to worry about the ups and downs of the stock market. You are assured that the money you save in GET will be there when your student is ready for college.

All earnings and withdrawals from GET plans are tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses. Your student can use them to attend colleges, universities and technical schools anywhere in the country, and even abroad. GET enrollment runs until May 31st.

 

Posted in: Uncategorised

Leave a Comment


Knock Knock – Who’s There?

| Leave a Comment

 

Being a parent, you know the two major priorities for your child are to protect and provide for them. It is hard enough to do so in the here and now. Worrying about the future can almost feel like too much to ponder. With your focus on ‘What to have for dinner tonight’ it leaves little room for ‘Where will we get the money to send our child to college?’ But before you know it, this future concern will be knocking on your front door.

Meanwhile, the student loan crisis is getting out of hand. The average total student loan debt per person is $31,172, saddling college graduates with an average monthly payment of nearly $400. With statistics like these it’s is no wonder why many grads are putting off major life milestones such as buying a house or starting a family. There just isn’t enough money to go around.

With $1.6 trillion in student debt in the US already, how can you keep your child from being part of the statistic? Hopefully they are lucky or gifted enough to earn scholarships and/or grants. Loans and savings are also valuable tools your family can use to fund your child’s education. You may have to use one or all avenues to help cover the total cost. However, a dollar saved now is one less dollar that may have to be borrowed in the future.

Preparing for the costs of higher education for your child can be daunting, but you don’t have to face it alone. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and even friends helping to boost your savings account can be a tremendous help. Many families are asking for monetary donations instead of toys or gifts for holidays and celebrations. The phrase “it takes a village” has never been truer than when preparing for your child’s future education.

Did you know your child is six times more likely to attend college if they know they have a savings account in their name? One great way to save for their future education is with WA529 college savings plans. With WA529, your family can choose between the Guaranteed Education Tuition Program (GET), and the DreamAhead College Investment Plan. As 529 plans, all earnings and withdrawals from GET and DreamAhead are tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses. Your student can use them to attend colleges, universities and technical schools anywhere in the country, and even abroad. If you would like to learn more about Washington College Savings Plans visit www.wastate529.wa.gov.

 

Posted in: Uncategorised

Leave a Comment