Holiday Gift Giving Solved: Education is a Gift that Truly Lasts a Lifetime

If you are a parent or grandparent wanting to plant a seed in a child’s mind that higher education is in their future, establishing a WA529 GET or DreamAhead account for them is a great way to start. Studies show that students who know they have the college savings available to them are nearly seven times more likely to attend college than those who don’t.

What are WA529 plans? In the shortest description, the Washington College Savings Plans, or WA529, are a collection of 529 college savings plans offered by the State of Washington.

The first one is the Guaranteed Education Tuition, or GET Program, which entails paying tuition in advance at a set price. The value of GET units is guaranteed to keep pace with in-state college tuition.

The second WA529 plan is the DreamAhead. In this college investment plan, returns are tied to the performance of the financial market. Account owners (parents or gift givers) select one of two saving options: a year-of-enrollment portfolios where investments automatically adjust over time, or static portfolios, that let you as the account owner set your investment strategy. The strategy stays the same until you as the account owner make changes.

These plans offer Washington families a flexible set of college savings options. Families can choose GET, DreamAhead, or both. Neither plan charges an enrollment fee when enrolling online, so it’s easy to start an account.

DreamAhead savings and GET units can be used nearly everywhere—including out-of-state institutions, private schools, community colleges, and even at trade and technical schools. A recent improvement to the plans called the SECURE Act, allows account holders to pay off previous student debt or use their plans to go to a specialized vocational trade school, technical training or even an apprenticeship. These changes made the DreamAhead and GET plans highly versatile and an investment you are assured can be fully utilized.

Since 1998, more than 55,000 students have used GET in all 50 states and 15 countries worldwide. The benefits of the two WA529 Plans are vast.

LYNN CASTLE

For Additional Information
Compare Washington 529 Plans | wastate529.wa.gov
GET 529 Prepaid Tuition Program | get.wa.gov
DreamAhead 529 College Investment Plan | dreamahead.wa.gov