We’ve written a few times about college tuition and the Washington Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) savings program.
An interesting follow-up note to the 2011-12 spike in the price of GET units comes from GET director Betty Lochner. In the January 9 edition of Investment News, Locher indicated that GET officials now assume 19% tuition increases each of the next two years at Washington state colleges. This comes after 14% increases each of the past two years.
Before shifting the GET pricing model to accommodate for 19% tuition, the program set unit prices based on an assumption of 7% tuition inflation. They won’t just magically produce 12 percentage points more of investment return to solve the problem. The program is becoming even more reliant on new participants paying a premium over today’s tuition with hope that it will turn out to be a bargain if tuition continues to sprint ahead.
On a related note: One way to increase tuition revenue is for state schools to admit more out-of-state students who pay at a higher rate. With that in mind, it’s interesting to read the University Of Washington profile of freshman and transfer students for the fall 2011 quarter. There were 10,637 applicants from the state of Washington. Approximately 3,850 were admitted and the state legislature has requested that UW increase the number of in-state applicants to 4,000 next fall. The startling figure is the number of applicants from China – 3,290, following only California on the non-resident applicant list. We may not be far from having a third of each UW freshman class coming not only from out of state, but out of the country.
~ Brooks, Hughes & Jones, Partners in Wealth Management, Tacoma, WA