State's prepaid tuition program costing families more



Posted on November 1, 2011 at 7:38 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 1 at 8:01 AM

SEATTLE -- Enrollment for Washington's prepaid tuition program opens Tuesday, but the plan may not seem like such a bargain for people who looking to save money for college.
The state's G.E.T. program, (Guaranteed Education Tuition) allows you start investing in tuition in payments now. The State of Washington guarantees that the value of your account will increase right along with the rising cost of college tuition, no matter how much it increases in the future.
But this year the price for one education tuition unit is $163, which translates into $16,300 for a year of tuition and state-mandated fees at the University of
Washington or Washington State University.
Last year, one GET unit cost $117. And during the 2009-2010 enrollment, it cost $101 per unit.
"You don't go a day without hearing how costs are rising," said Liz Schomber. She has started investing in her son Aiden's education through the GET program when he
was born. He is now 4 years old.
"I just feel like if I don't do something now, he won't be able to go to college," said Schomber.
Some parents still looking to invest, like Huai Hung of Seattle, are discouraged by the rising cost of GET.
"I'm thinking that in terms of the future, a college or university may not be the only resource toward education," she said.
The current cost of a Washingtonian attending the University of Washington is $10,574 per year. That means tuition will have to increase by 54% in order for a parent to start breaking even on their GET investment if they start paying now.  Last year the cost of tuition at UW jumped about 20%.
The GET program staff estimates that today's newborn will pay more than $150,000 for four years of tuition in 2029.