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(May 26, 2023) -Did you know May 29th (5/29) is National 529 Day, also known as 529 College Savings Day? 529 college savings plans are designed to help families save for future higher education costs in a tax-advantaged manner. Governor Jay Inslee also proclaimed May 29, 2023 as “529 College Savings Day” for Washingtonians.

In recognition of National 529 Day, WA529 held our second annual WA529 “What’s Your Dream Job” Art Contest, open to K-12 students in the state of Washington. Our goal is to inspire Washington students to dream about the infinite possibilities their futures can hold and encourage them to create an art piece depicting their dream career as an adult. It is incredible to see hundreds of wonderful dreams portrayed through their creative art entries. Visit the WA529 Virtual Gallery to view the spectacular results of WA529’s 1st and 2nd Annual Dream Job Art Contest (coming soon)! 2023 Contest winners will be revealed on May 29, National 529 Day. Thirteen winning students (one from each grade level) will receive a prize to recognize their fabulous artwork chosen by our judges.

Later this year, the GET program (Guaranteed Education Tuition), will celebrate its 25th year as Washington’s 529 prepaid tuition plan. This year also marks five years since the State launched the DreamAhead College Investment Plan as a complement to GET to create additional choice and flexibility for families as they plan for future education costs.

Did you know that most 529 college savings plans are established and managed by an agency of the state? Almost every state in the U.S. offers some sort of 529 plan. Washington offers both a prepaid plan (GET), which allows families to pay for future tuition and other expenses related to career-readiness education at today’s price, and an investment plan (DreamAhead), in which savings are invested and the account value has the potential to grow with the market.

Three important facts about 529 plans every family should know

1. Funds saved in 529 plans can be used for higher education expenses at post-secondary schools, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs nationwide and at qualifying international schools. 
2. Families use funds for a wide variety of Qualified Higher Education Expenses (QHEE) like tuition, room, board, fees, and other expenses (like laptops) associated with a student’s cost of attendance.
3. Knowing where 529 funds can be used is simple: post-secondary schools/programs in the USA and internationally that accept Federal Financial Aid are considered eligible schools.