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Pricing, Payout and Fees

Annual Payout Value & Annual Tuition Increases Over Time

The current GET unit payout value is $108.44 through July 31, 2020. 

GET works on a unit system, with 100 GET units equal to one year of resident, undergraduate tuition and state-mandated fees at Washington’s most expensive public university. Currently, the highest annual tuition and state-mandated fees at a public university in our state is $10,844, meaning that the current payout value for one GET unit is $108.44 (or 1/100th). 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 2015 Legislative Session, Washington State lawmakers passed the College Affordability Program, which lowered tuition at our state’s public colleges for two consecutive academic years. Further, the legislation states that beginning in the 2017-18 academic year, annual tuition increases may be no more than the state’s average annual growth rate in median hourly wage. Because GET never anticipated tuition dropping, the Legislature gave GET a one-time authorization to keep customer accounts from going down in value with tuition. Any potential future tuition decreases, however, could cause your units to lose monetary value. The following chart shows the GET unit payout value as well as changes in in-state tuition over time (since 2000):

Annual Unit Purchase Price Over Time

The current GET unit purchase price is $121 through June 30, 2020. Note that we must receive any payments by June 25, 2020 to ensure they are processed at this year's price.

Setting an informed and well-researched unit purchase price is critical to maintaining the financial stability of the GET program and to provide a fair price for customers. Annually, the Committee on Advanced Tuition Payment and College Savings sets the GET unit purchase price. In 2011, the Committee adopted a unit pricing model that includes three components: the expected cost of future tuition, an expense component that contributes to the cost of administering GET, and a 15 percent reserve to ensure financial stability for the program. It also includes an optional amortization component that is not part of the current pricing. The Office of the State Actuary supports the Committee by providing a pricing analysis that provides a unit price range and a best estimate unit price. The Committee considers this analysis in setting the final unit price, which may or may not match the best estimate unit price. See the GET Program Details Booklet for more information on how the GET Committee determines the unit purchase price.

2018-2019 GET Unit Price Breakdown

The Committee on Advanced Tuition Payment and College Savings sets the GET unit purchase price before each enrollment year. The current GET unit purchase price, through June 30, 2019, is $121 (payments must be received by June 25) and is composed of three components:

  • Expected Costs
    Covers the expected present value of the cost of future Tuition and State-Mandated Fees.
  • Expenses
    Contributes to GET’s administrative expenses. For the 2018-2019 Expense Component, we began with the Expense Com-ponent from the 2017-2018 GET Unit Purchase Price, and applied an inflationary factor of 2.1 percent. This factor matched the rate of tuition increases at Washington’s highest priced public university between 2017-18 and 2018-19.
  • Reserve (current policy targets a 15% reserve)
    Covers unexpected future costs such as higher than expected tuition growth or lower than expected investment returns.

More 2018-2019 GET Unit Purchase Price Details

Historical Unit Prices

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, 2018, indicated that the program's funded status is at 130.2 percent. 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 130.2 percent funded status means the program is expected to be able to cover all of its current and future obligations without the need for state appropriations. It is 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).

Program Fees

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.