- Associated Press - Friday, September 5, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) - Washington’s prepaid college tuition program has completely recovered from the recession, the state’s actuary said Thursday.

Actuary Matt Smith credited two years without tuition increases and strong investment returns for helping the Guaranteed Education Tuition program get back to being fully funded.

He told the GET committee on Thursday that the program was funded at 106 percent at the end of June. It’s the first time since the Great Recession started in 2008 that the program has been funded at or above 100 percent.

The program’s asset fund is now valued at $2.93 billion - up $371 million compared to this time last year.

Washington’s prepaid tuition program is a state-run 529 college savings plan. Investors are guaranteed that no matter what happens to the stock market or state tuition, they will be able to pay for an academic year of tuition and mandatory fees at the state’s most expensive public college or university with 100 units. Tuition and fees at less expensive schools cost fewer units and housing is extra.



At Thursday’s meeting, the committee voted to keep the purchase price for prepaid tuition units at $172 for the third year, which translates into $17,200 for a year of tuition and state mandated fees at the University of Washington or Washington State University.

The current payout value for the upcoming academic year is $117.82 per GET unit.

Lawmakers have debated changing or closing the GET program several times during recent legislative sessions, but have not done so.

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