In the Fall of 2015, the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA), in partnership with Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) and other partners, began offering children’s savings accounts (CSAs) for the children of the Salishan neighborhood in Tacoma, Wash. In November 2021, THA expanded this program to include families served within its 14 managed properties.
This program helps students, and their families, aspire to college, prepare for it, and develop a strong network of resources and support to achieve their post-secondary goals.
CSA Program Overview
Tacoma Housing Authority has partnered with the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) to provide families a new and improved way to save for their future goals through the Washington state’s 529 Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program!
What is the GET?
The GET program is a Washington 529 college savings plan. Moving forward, all THA children’s savings accounts will be a GET account.
The savings in a GET account grow tax-free and remain tax-free when the student uses it for a variety of education expenses at schools in the U.S. and even abroad. Washington State then guarantees that the value of the account will keep pace with tuition growth of the highest priced Washington public college (UW and WSU). The student can attend any public, private, community, technical/vocation school in the U.S. and even schools abroad and use their funds to pay for a variety of education expenses.
Families can make contributions to an account at any time, in any amount. Every dollar saved is less a student borrows. In this way, the GET accounts act much like those in our traditional CSA program but with the added feature of a guaranteed value for education expenses that will keep pace with inflation and rising costs.
How it works
This program helps families save for their children’s education after high school. The program is currently available to students who meet the following eligibility:
- Be age 18 or younger at time of enrollment, and
- Be a THA tenant in the following THA Family Properties:
- 6th Avenue Apartments
- Arlington Apartments
- Bay Terrace
- Bergerson Terrace
- Dixon Village
- E.B. Wilson Apartments
- Fawcett Apartments
- Hillside Terrace
- G Street Apartments
- K Street Apartments
- Ludwig Apartments
- The Rise on 19th
- Wright Street Apartments
Students earn $500 by:
- Creating a GET account and participate in saving. GET accounts must be opened for 2 years before funds can be disbursed.
- Earning their high school accreditation (high school diploma, GED or equivalent)
- Enrolling into a post-secondary program of their choice!
THA staff and our community partners will work together to offer families:
- Free financial education for the whole family
- Financial aid navigation and supports
- College and career navigation and supports
Funding & Partners
THA plans this effort in collaboration with the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), Sound Outreach, Tacoma Public Schools (TPS), Prosperity Now, initial funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Bamford Foundation, Heritage Bank, other funders and social service partners in Tacoma.
BERK Consulting provides third party evaluation to support the analysis and research to inform the CSA’s expansion plan.