Northwest NEWS

October 2, 2000

School

College tuition increases outpacing family income

College tuition is rising faster than family incomes, making it increasingly difficult for families to save for their children's college education. Washington State's Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program (www.get.wa.gov), which today launches its 2000-2001 enrollment year, offers one "guaranteed" solution.
   Since 1980, college tuition has increased twice and sometimes three times the Consumer Price Index, according to The College Board (www.collegeboard.com), a research organization which studies public policy issues in education. Yet, family incomes have remained stagnant (rising only 22 percent in total since 1981) over the past 15 years, representing a serious potential financial challege for families who want to send their children to college.
   The state GET program lets families lock in college tuition prices for the future by investing in tuition units today, according to Betty Lochner, Director, Washington's GET Program. For $41 per unit, plus a one-time $50 enrollment fee, families can begin today buy a child's future education.
   More than 10,400 families have invested more than $55 million in GEt since it began two years ago. "GET is a secure investment that is also flexible, affordable and easy to use, enabling families to join at the amount and in the payment plan that fits their financial needs," says Lochner.