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Student Accounts

DreamAhead Funding

“The DreamAhead College Investment Plan is a 529 plan created by the state of Washington to help everyone in the U.S. save for higher qualified expenses. Accounts can be easily managed online and used to pay for tuition at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school, and qualified higher education expenses at eligible schools all over the U.S. and overseas. DreamAhead provides a wide range of investment options and tools to help you save with the support of friends and family through gift contributions.”

(DreamAhead website, “What is the DreamAhead plan?”)

Things to Keep in Mind When Using DreamAhead Funding:

1. Your DreamAhead payment will not post to the student’s account on the day it is received; payments can take a few days to process.
2. You should make your DreamAhead request at least two weeks prior to the start of the quarter.
3. Ensure that DreamAhead has CWU’s correct mailing address:

Central Washington University
ATTN: Cashiers Office
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7490

4. DreamAhead functions like all other 529s in that CWU is not able to "lock" and "track" when payments are authorized or estimate when payments may arrive on campus. This "tracking" ability is unique to GET only at this time. 

Using Your DreamAhead Funding

These are the general steps to follow to request an account distribution to pay for college expenses:
1. [Log in to your online DreamAhead account]
2. Select “Account,” then “Transfers”
     • If you have not set up CWU or your bank, selected “Settings” first before continuing
3. Select “Withdraw”
4. From here, there are two options: “School” or “Bank”
     • If you wish to have DreamAhead pay CWU directly, select “School”
     • If you have already paid school-related charges and are looking to be reimbursed or wish to use DreamAhead funds from a personal account, select “Bank”
5. Choose the portfolio you wish to pay from
6. Select “Partial” (or “Full” if you are using the entire portfolio) and then type in the amount you wish to pay
7. Choose “Next” to review your selections, and then “Submit” when you’re finished
8. Allow up to two weeks for DreamAhead to process and send the payment to CWU

It is also possible to request account distributions by downloading and mailing or faxing paper forms. Note that if you are requesting a reimbursement to the account owner for expenses incurred during a prior academic year, you may be required to complete the paper forms.

Access paper forms [here].

Notes about Using DreamAhead
     • Whenever you withdraw funds, DreamAhead will send you an IRS Form 1099-Q the following January.
     • DreamAhead cannot be used to repay existing student loans.
     • Using DreamAhead funds for unauthorized expenses may result in tax penalties.
             o See IRS Publication 970 for additional information

The DreamAhead website contains a lot of very helpful information, including Frequently Asked Questions and contact information for DreamAhead representatives. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM PT.

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