Regional News

Enrollment Ends May 31 for Washington’s GET Program

May 06, 2015

Parents wanting to save for college have until midnight on May 31 to open a Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) account before the state program closes for this enrollment year. GET is Washington’s 529 college savings plan that is guaranteed by law to keep pace with tuition at the state’s highest priced public university. The program provides tax-free growth and withdrawals for qualified higher education expenses.

In Washington, more than 160,000 GET accounts have been opened since the program began in 1998. In its 17 years of operation the program has paid out more than $678 million to cover higher education expenses on behalf of 40,000 students attending college in all 50 states and 15 foreign countries.

“The goal of our program is to increase access to higher education and to make it more affordable, especially at a time when student loan debt in our country is at an all-time high,” said Betty Lochner, Director of the GET program. This past year, Washington college graduates finished school with an average of $25,000 in student loans. In total, the state has more than 800,000 student loan borrowers who are carrying more than $20 billion in debt.

“We are trying to switch the personal financing of college from a debt-driven model to a savings-driven model,” Lochner said. Nationally, more than 500,000 new 529 college savings accounts were opened in 2014, which was a 4.1% increase according to the College Savings Plans Network

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