Washington state’s Guaranteed Education Tuition plan (or GET) should reopen to those who want to invest in their children’s education.
The committee that oversees the program is meeting today in Olympia to consider lifting the two-year freeze to new investors that was put in place because of financial concerns followed by the Legislature’s cut to tuition at the state’s universities.
Times have changed and so have circumstances. The GET program is now financially sound because of the surge of the stock market and is now overfunded by about 135 percent. The fund contains about $615 million more than it needs to pay its projected obligations based on the cost of the most expensive four-year public university.
This would seem a good time to allow those who want to secure a college education for their kids to do so.
The GET program allows investors to purchase units that rise with the cost of tuition. It takes 100 units to fund a full year of college tuition.
The units are now $117 per unit or $11,700 for a year’s worth of tuition), but because the state reduced the cost of tuition and fees at the state’s most expensive university last school year was $10,171.
Clearly, some refiguring will have to be done.
The GET committee will be discussing today new pricing and a plan for those who opted in to the system at higher tuition rates.
The Legislature has opted to raise a tuition a smal amoutn for the next school year in the recently approved budget. Ultimatey, this is the wrong approach. Keeping tuition low should remain a priority so more folks can have access to higher education.
And having an opportunity for parents (or grandparents or friends) to invest in a child’s education at a young age makes sense.
Making changes to the GET program as circumstances change, as Washington is doing, ensures that investors will, pardon the pun, get an education for their children.