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The Times 

Washington's GET program to reopen soon with historical pricing

 

November 4, 2021



OLYMPIA—At its annual fall meeting, the WA529 Committee (GET’s governing body) voted to set the GET unit purchase price for the 2021-22 enrollment year at $114.01. This is the first time in GET’s history that the unit price matches the current payout value, based on the cost of tuition and state-mandated fees at Washington’s highest-priced public university (currently UW Tacoma, $11,401).

While this year’s unit price happens to match the current payout value, this was coincidental and due primarily to changes in actuarial assumptions about future tuition growth that the Committee relies on when setting the GET unit price. These two figures are calculated separately and have historically been different amounts.

According to Luke Minor, WA529 Director, the GET unit price is usually higher than the current payout value because the State guarantees that your GET account will keep pace with future in-state tuition costs, no matter how much it changes when a student uses their funds in the future.

“In the 13 years that GET savers hold their units on average, a lot can happen with tuition rates, state budgets, and financial markets,” Minor explained. “This makes it a balancing act to manage financial risk to the program while keeping the price affordable for families.”

Historically, it has taken multiple years for the payout value of GET units to “catch up” with their original purchase price. This year, those figures are the same, creating instant value for Washington savers.

“Future educational expenses weigh heavily on working families, and today’s immediate lowering of these costs for those investing in their kids through the GET program means the everyday burdens on working families just got a bit lighter,” said State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti, who sits on the WA529 Committee.

WA529’s website (wastate529.wa.gov) offers details, charts, planning tools and answers for questions that families may have about the programs. Washington residents who want to help a student save for future education costs can open a GET or DreamAhead account online with no enrollment fee. The GET contact center staff is ready to help at 800-955-2318 or GETInfo@wsac.wa.gov. For questions about DreamAhead, the DreamAhead contact center can be reached at 844-529-5845.

For more details about this year’s GET unit pricing and information on the program’s 2021-22 enrollment period, which begins November 1, visit wastate529.wa.gov.

 

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