DreamAhead Opportunities for Students

Studies show that students who know they have the college savings available to them are nearly seven times more likely to attend higher education than those who don’t.  Starting a WA529 GET or DreamAhead account can put students on the path to a bright future through higher education.  

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, created in 1998, 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 and fees at the state’s highest-priced university (currently UW Tacoma).

The enrollment period for the GET program ends on May 31st and will re-open November 1st with a new, possibly higher unit rate.  Those enrolled in GET already can take advantage of the low 2020-21 rate by adding units until June 25th.

A bill currently progressing through the Washington State legislative process may result in those who purchased GET units during the 2020-21 enrollment period receiving extra units in their account, and a cap being placed on the price of GET units in the future – making the program even more affordable for Washington families.

The second WA529 plan is DreamAhead College Investment plan, which was recently named a Bronze Award winner by MorningStar.  A major accomplishment for a program in just its third year.  In this college investment plan, which has open enrollment all year long, returns are tied to the performance of the financial market. Account owners select one of two saving options, automatic or static portfolios, that always let the account owner set the strategy.

DreamAhead savings and GET units can be used nearly everywhere—including out-of-state institutions, private schools, community colleges, trade and technical schools, and even to cover the cost of an apprenticeship.  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.

For more detailed information on these programs or to get started visit Wastate529.wa.gov. 

Compare Washington 529 Plans | wastate529.wa.gov

Savings Made Simple: Wa. College Savings

In today’s world, where the price of a bachelor’s degree can rival that of a single-family home, having a 529 college savings plan can offer young parents peace of mind. It’s easy to enroll, either on your own or through a financial advisor, and once you’re signed up you can set up automatic contributions to fund the account. Your investment grows tax-free, and won’t be taxed when you withdraw, as long as the money is used to pay for qualified education expenses.

Beyond the double benefit of tax-deferred investment growth combined with tax-free withdrawals for qualified expenses, there are a number of advantages to saving in a 529 account. A brand-new benefit as of January 1, 2018 is you can now use 529s to save for private school tuition for kindergarten through 12th grade. This provides tax savings for parents who plan to send their kids to private school. You can withdraw up to $10,000 per year, per student for this purpose. Additionally, you can set up an unlimited number of plans, and there are no rules on who the beneficiary can be. This means you can create an account for a relative, friend, or yourself. The gift of education is one that will open doors to a world of opportunity and is sure to last a lifetime.

For many new parents, receiving a college fund as a baby gift packs a stronger punch than a new toy or baby bib. “Giving the gift of higher education is really amazing,” says Lucas Minor, Interim WA529 Director. “An entire family can participate. When someone is saving for your child’s future and cares about your child’s success, it reduces barriers and encourages kids to grow up with the incentive and expectation to attend college.” When opened for a newborn baby, the account has 18 years to grow, with interest compounding on interest, making it an especially savvy present for money-minded gift-givers. by Kelly Lenihan

RESOURCES

Compare Washington 529 Plans

There are two types of 529 plans: prepaid tuition plans and education savings plans. Explore both options to find the right plan for you.

wastate529.wa.gov

GET 529 Prepaid Tuition Program

The GET prepaid tuition plan lets a saver or account holder purchase units or credits at participating colleges and universities (usually public and in-state) for future tuition and mandatory fees at current prices for the beneficiary. Enrollment period: November 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019.

get.wa.gov | 800.955.2318

DreamAhead 529 College Investment Plan

The DreamAhead education savings plan lets a saver open an investment account to save for the beneficiary’s future qualified higher education expenses – tuition, mandatory fees and room and board. Withdrawals from education savings plan accounts can generally be used at any college or university, including some non-U.S. colleges and universities.

dreamahead.wa.gov | 844.529.5845