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Pricing, Payout and Fees
Annual Payout Value & Annual Tuition Increases Over Time
The GET payout value is based on undergraduate tuition and state mandated fees at Washington’s highest priced public university. Over the past 10 years, tuition in the state of Washington has increased an average of 8.6% per year. Tuition is established at the state’s higher education institutions once a year by each school’s Board of Regents. Tuition is largely influenced based on the funding each school receives from the state legislature. During the past biennium the legislature helped the schools provide tuition relief to students by providing additional operational funding, which is a big reason why tuition has remained flat and why the GET payout value has remained unchanged. This relief comes after four straight years of double digit annual tuition increases ranging from 13 to 19 percent and helps alleviate some of the financial pressures associated with skyrocketing inflation. The following charts show the GET payout value over the past decade, as well as tuition inflation over the past 10 years:
Annual Unit Price Over Time
Setting a realistic, thoroughly researched unit price is critical to maintaining the financial stability of the GET program. The GET Committee sets the unit price annually, based on a formula that takes into account many actuarial projections, including the expected cost of tuition and program operating expenses. It also includes a reserve to adjust for periods of higher-than-expected tuition increases or lower-than-expected investment returns, plus an amortization of past losses. The current unit price is $172 per unit, which was adopted by the GET Committee in September 2014.
GET Unit Price Breakdown
|Expected Tuition Cost||$124.74|
|Total Unit Price||$172.00|
Historical Unit Prices
The following charts show the unit prices over the past 10 years and how much money you can save with a four-year college education by investing with GET:
Program Funded Status
Annually, the Washington State Actuary conducts a valuation of GET that assesses the program’s financial health. The most recent actuarial valuation, as of June 30, 2014, yielded positive news about the program’s funded status. The funded status reflects the amount of money the program would need in order to cover all current contracts as they come due in the future, compared to the assets on hand. The report indicated that the program is now 106% funded meaning it could cover all of its current and future obligations. Further, the program received an A rating for financial solvency. This is encouraging news, and can be attributed in part to higher-than-expected investment returns and lower-than-anticipated tuition growth. It’s important to remember that if funds were ever insufficient to cover all of the program’s obligations, GET customers are protected by Washington State Law (RCW 28B.95.050).
The following program information document outlines all of the account, refund and organizational fees associated with the GET Program.
Qualified Higher Education Expenses
You can use your GET units to pay for any of the qualified higher education expenses in the chart below.