What is a 529 Plan?
A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged college savings/investment plan designed to encourage saving for the future higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary (typically one's child or grandchild). The plans are named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code and are administered by state agencies and organizations.
Types of 529 Plans
There are two types of 529 plans: prepaid tuition plans and savings plans:
- Prepaid Tuition Plans allow for the pre-purchase of tuition based on today's rates and then paid out at the future cost when the beneficiary is in college. Performance is often based upon tuition inflation. Prepaid plans may be administered by states or higher education institutions.
- Savings Plans are different in that your account earnings are based upon the market performance of the underlying investments, which typically consist of mutual funds. Savings plans may only be administered by states.
- Michigan Education Trust (MET)
The Michigan Education Trust (MET), Michigan's guaranteed tuition program, allows parents, grandparents, or others to purchase future college tuition at today's rates. With MET you avoid rising tuition rates, which are expected to more than double over the next 10 years. For additional information about MET, call 800-MET-4-KID (800-638-4543) or access the Web site www.setwithmet.com.
- Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP) The Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP) is a savings/investment program designed to assist families with preparing for higher education expenses. A child's parents or others can open an account for the child/beneficiary. The MESP account then can grow through regular contributions and investment growth. For additional information about MESP, call 1-877-861-MESP (1-877-861-6377) or access the Web site www.misaves.com.
- MI 529 Advisor Plan (MAP)
The MI 529 Advisor Plan provides Michigan residents with a way to invest in a 529 college savings program utilizing the expertise of a financial advisor. The Plan offers a variety of unique benefits that set it apart from other 529 plans in the country. For additional information about MAP, call 866-529-8818 or access the Web site www.MI529Advisor.com.
- Affording College in Michigan
College costs have increased over the last ten years; however, options are still available. Planning ahead will provide the most benefits.