Northwest NEWS

September 16, 2002


September is 'College Savings Month'

Gov. Gary Locke has proclaimed September as "College Savings Month" in Washington.
   The proclamation, for the second year, recognizes that a college education is an important element in the future success of Washington's children and the economy, and encourages families to plan ahead by saving today for their children's future college expenses.
   Today, the cost of four years' tuition, room, board, and books at a Washington public college or university is approximately $50,000; in 18 years, The College Board estimates costs could rise to nearly $120,000.
   To help Washington families, the state's Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Program allows families to purchase college tuition units today for use up to 18 years in the future.
   GET accounts are 100 guaranteed by the state, offer families flexible purchase plans, can be transferred among family members and the increased value of the accounts is tax-exempt when used for eligible education expenses.
   One hundred units equals one year's tuition and state-mandated fees at the most expensive university in Washington.
   The enrollment period for this year begins Sept. 25. Families can enroll only through March 31, 2003 at this year's period price of $52. Over 24,000 students are currently enrolled in GET.
   Families can purchase as little as one unit, or up to 500 units per beneficiary.
   Purchase can be made in a lump sum or through a custom monthly payment plan set up according to the family's needs.
   Enrollment forms are available by calling 1-877-GET-TUIT (1-877-438-8848), or on-line at Pamphlets are also being distributed to schools statewide. Businesses may help their employees through payroll deduction plans or by establishing scholarships using GET units.