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With the rapidly evolving impacts of COVID-19 on daily life, it is important to keep in perspective that your child’s dreams and your goals for their future are long-term and boundless. Staying the course can be an essential part of keeping those dreams moving forward. And higher education can be an important step to help them reach those dreams.
Every family is different, and no single approach is a perfect fit. That is why Washington College Savings Plans (WA529) provides families with a diverse set of options to build a college savings strategy that works for them. WA529 offers flexible savings options to families with The Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) plan and The DreamAhead College Investment Plan.
As a prepaid tuition plan, the Guaranteed Education Tuition Program (GET) guarantees that if you buy 100 units today, those units will always be worth one year of tuition and state-mandated fees at Washington’s most expensive public university, regardless of how much tuition changes. You do not have to worry about the ups and downs of the stock market. You are assured that the money you save in GET will be there when your student is ready for college. This year’s enrollment period ends soon. To take advantage of this year’s unit price, you must enroll by May 31, 2020.
The DreamAhead College Investment Plan allows you to choose your own stock market-based investments, which gives you complete control over how your funds are allocated. Families have multiple investment choices with varied degrees of customization and risk. DreamAhead’s investment options range from funds that automatically adjust as your student approaches college age, to others that give an account owner greater control. DreamAhead enrollment is open year-round.
All earnings and withdrawals from WA529 plans are tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses. Your student can use them to attend colleges, universities, and technical schools anywhere in the country, and even abroad. Learn more about saving for higher education at www.wastate529.wa.gov.
While we weather this pandemic, know that your family can adopt a “do-what-you-can” mantra for continuing to save for college. If you are unable to contribute as much to your student’s GET or DreamAhead account as you had hoped, that’s okay. Give yourself a break. Setting aside $5 to $10 a week to contribute to your account can add up over time. Keeping your child’s future goals in mind is important – just as it is with retirement.
If you have questions, join us for the WA529 Virtual Knowledge Café with Jackie Ferrado, the WA529 Community Relations Manager! These online meetings are a great place to learn more about the Washington College Savings Plans, ask questions, and gather resources to support your child’s educational goals and are free and open to the public. WA529 is offering weekly sessions at various times throughout the month. Visit the Upcoming Webinars page to register for the date and time that works best for you. We look forward to seeing you at our next session!
Washington’s 529 College Savings Plans (WA529) help families save for higher education expenses. With tax benefits, flexible contribution options and nationwide choice of colleges, it’s easy to start saving today. To learn more, visit the site or call 1.800.955.2318 with questions on GET or 1.844.529.5845 with questions on DreamAhead.