“What If…” and Other Common Questions About a WA529 Education Savings Plan

By Patricia Andre-Edgar (Estimated reading time: 3 minutes)

PEPS recently hosted an online learning session with Washington 529 College Savings Plans (WA529) on the 5 steps to opening and contributing to an education savings plan within Washington State. We were thrilled to be joined by dozens of participants for an hour of learning and discussion.

Many of the questions that came up from participants were related to the decisions leading up to opening an account and how to sort out which plan would make the most sense for their individual family. A handful of questions arose on what it would mean for the funds invested if the family moved away from Washington or if extended family members from out-of-state wished to open a fund for their child. And while each situation is unique and families should always consult a financial advisor, WA529 provided their expertise and continues to assist hundreds of families with actionable steps on opening and investing in a 529 within Washington.

Looking for clarity on questions related to you and your child’s location? Check out a few of the most popular ones we’ve been hearing below.

  • What if the parents or student moves to a different state, does the account follow us?
    If you move out-of-state after opening a Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) or DreamAhead account, you can still make regular contributions and use your funds for qualified higher education expenses.
  • What if the student decides to attend a school outside of Washington State? 
    Funds from either a GET or DreamAhead account can be used for a variety of qualified educational expenses such tuition, fees, room and board, books and required supplies at eligible educational institutions anywhere in the US and even some schools abroad including registered apprenticeship programs.  Over the past few years, new federal legislation has expand qualified expenses to include K-12 tuition expenses and student loan debt.
  • What if a WA529 GET plan is used out-of-state – does the student have to establish residency in this other state before the funds can be used?
    Funds from a GET and DreamAhead account can be used at any eligible educational institution in the US and even some schools abroad, including registered apprenticeship programs. The student does not have to wait to establish residency in any particular state.
  • What if a family member who lives in a different state opens a 529 account for our child?  Would the student be able to use the funds in that account at any school/program in the country?
    Yes. You can use your 529 plan at nearly any public or private college, university, including community and technical schools and registered apprenticeship programs in the United States and even abroad. 

    A college is eligible if it participates in federal financial aid programs through the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of participating schools, visit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website and an apprenticeship program must be registered with the US Department of Labor.

Have more questions? Visit the WA529 Frequently-Asked-Questions page to learn more, attend an upcoming Knowledge Café webinar or visit the Contact Us page for email and phone numbers to get in touch with the GET Program and DreamAhead Plan team.

About the Author
About the Author

Patricia Andre-Edgar (she/her) is a mom to two young boys and a PEPS Second Time Around Group alumni. When she’s not juggling the joys of parenting, she leads the communications and marketing at PEPS, passionately supporting and connecting parents. Patricia enjoys geeking out about data and loves to talk about anything food-related, preferably while eating with good friends.

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