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Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) logo

Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET)

Washington's Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Program reopened to new enrollments on November 1, 2017 after a two year freeze in response to the College Affordability Act, which lowered tuition at Washington's public higher education institutions. The State of Washington guarantees that the value of an account will keep pace with the cost of college tuition, no matter how much it changes in the future.

Our Ratingx

Fee Scorex

5 of 5

Performancex

N/A

  • Program typePrepaid unit / Guaranteed savings
  • Enrollment periodNovember 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019.
  • Inception1998
  • State agency
    Washington State Student Achievement Council, with the State Treasurer as a member of the GET committee that oversees the program.
  • Tax deduction
    Tax deduction for single filers None
    Tax deduction for joint filers None

Ratings & Rankings

Our overall rating for WA residents

This is an excellent program with many benefits for the participant and positive investment attributes. If it has any significant weaknesses then it also has some particularly good things to recommend it.

Our overall rating for non-residents

This program is not open to you either because it has residency requirements or because it has stopped accepting new enrollments.

Savingforcollege.com's 5-Cap Ratings provides an evaluation and comparison of 529 plans, utilizing a formula that examines dozens of factors grouped into the following categories.

Financial Benefits

3.00

Features

4.00

Safety

5.00

Reliability

4.00

Eligibility

State residency requirements:

The account owner or the beneficiary must be a Washington resident at the time of program enrollment.

Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

Individuals (including minors), UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:

Units must be used within 10 years after the beneficiary's projected college entrance year or the first use of units, whichever is later.

Contributions

Maximum contributions:

$67,800 for 600 units, installment payments available.

Minimum contributions:

One unit ($113 through May 31, 2019).

Contractual Features

Current value of one unit:

The GET Program has historically provided that each unit acquired in the program is worth 1% of the resident undergraduate tuition at the highest-priced Washington state public university and may be redeemed at any eligible educational institution in the country.

On August 1, 2017, GET reset the unit payout from $117.82 to a new amount that matches GET's original unit payout formula (i.e. 100 units = one year of resident, undergraduate tuition and state mandated fees at Washington's most expensive public university). The 2018-2019 payout value is $106.01

Based on the passage of the state's College Affordability Act, effective September 2, 2015, the payout value for the GET program remained at $117.82 per unit until the time when one-year of resident undergraduate tuition and state mandated fees at Washington State's highest priced public university surpassed $11,782. As of August 1, 2017 existing GET customers received additional new units in their accounts in a proportion equal to the difference between the $117.82 payout value, and the new payout value.

GET is allowing customers to request a refund of their entire GET account (no partial refunds allowed) at the $117.82 payout value (pre-rebase payout value) or their initial contributions (whichever is greater), without state refund penalties, until 60 days after the state's new 529 college savings plan opens.

Current unit price:

$113 through June 30, 2019

Are program benefits backed by the full faith and credit of the state?

Yes

Are program benefits collateralized or guaranteed in any other way?

No

Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:

None for online enrollment; $50 for paper enrollment

Taxes and other Benefits

  • Tax deduction for single filersNone
  • Tax deduction for joint filersNone

Note

Washington doesn't offer tax deductions

Program match on contributions:

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State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Not applicable. Washington does not have a personal income tax.

State definition of qualified expenses

The state conforms with the federal definition of qualified education expenses, which includes expenses for higher education, as well as up to $10,000 per year in tuition in connection with enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

Not applicable. Washington does not have a personal income tax.

Does the sponsoring state exclude the value of an account for state financial aid purposes?

Yes, Washington considers current income for state financial aid purposes (all assets, including 529 accounts, are excluded from consideration).

Does participation in the program provide beneficiaries with any advantages in qualifying for resident tuition status at state institutions?

No

Does the program have a formal agreement with a rewards program or outside scholarship program?

Yes, the Upromise Rewards program can be linked to any 529 college savings plan. Upromise Rewards is free to join and offers members cash back for college.

Upromise Helps Families Save for College

Upromise Helps Families Save for College

Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Eligible educational institution, beneficiary, or account owner, as directed by the account owner.

Account Changes

Policy regarding participant/owner changes:

Accepts requests to transfer contract ownership.

Documents, Access & Reporting

Does participant have online password-protected access to account?

Yes

Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?

Yes

Contact

Website:

http://www.get.wa.gov

Telephone:

1-800-955-2318

Twitter

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