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Take a closer look at gifts to a child’s college fund

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

OLYMPIA–Thinking about holiday gifts? This year you may want to take a closer look at the gift of education, and contribute to a child’s GET account.

GET is Washington’s 529 prepaid tuition plan, where your college savings account is guaranteed by state law to keep pace with rising tuition, even if tuition doubles or triples in the future. GET offers flexible savings options, plus tax-free growth and withdrawals. Kids can use their GET account to attend colleges, universities and technical schools anywhere in the country. And, if they decide not to attend college or receive a scholarship, parents can hold onto the account for up to ten years, transfer the account to another child, or request a refund.

The rising cost of college is in the news almost daily, but grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends can provide support along the way. Saving for a child’s college can seem daunting to parents, yet even small contributions add up over time. Unlike regular 529 savings plans, GET accounts are not affected by the ups and downs of the stock market. Those who fund a GET account when their children are young can save substantially on future tuition.

Whether it’s for a baby, or for a young child who’d feel inspired knowing that college is in his or her future, the gift of college savings is very special indeed. Research shows that teens who have a college savings account in their name are six times more likely to attend.

If a child already has a GET account, gifting is as easy as mailing a check. You can download a gift announcement directly from the GET Web site. If you want to open a new account for a child, you can enroll online, or mail in an enrollment form. More information is available at http://www.get.wa.gov/gift or by calling (800) 955-2318.

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