News Flash: Washington’s GET Glitch

Since 1992, Washington’s Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program has sold future college credits at prevailing tuition rates with the promise that the GET credits would hold their value until a child is ready to go to college. GET has given savvy parents a more affordable way to pay for tuition for their children’s college tuition well in advance of their freshman year. However, the state’s recent decision to cut tuition by 5 to 20 percent at state institutions has thrown a wrench in the program, and parents who thought they were securing their children’s future are now seeing the value of their units fall.

“Account-holders who purchased GET units at that price, and plan to use their units in the next 6 to 8 years, may never recover all of their initial purchase price, GET staffers say.”

On Tuesday, the Committee for Advanced Tuition Payment, more often referred to as the GET Committee , voted to refund account-holders $20 per unit, freeze the value of GET units at $117 for the next two years, and stop lump-sum sales until 2017. Although the committee did consider giving account-holders the opportunity to withdraw all of their money without penalty, ultimately they decided to delay a final decision until more is known about the state budget, given the state Supreme Court’s recent decision to fine lawmakers $100,000 a day until K-12 education is adequately funded, per its earlier McCleary decision.

The committee’s next meeting is September 1.

Via Katherine Long, Seattle Times. Read more.