Frequently Asked Questions
- Can MET students attend any Michigan public university or college?
Yes. MET benefits can be used at any Michigan public university or college upon the student being admitted to that institution. MET cannot guarantee that a student will be admitted to any Michigan university or college.
- Must a student use his or her MET contract immediately after high school graduation?
No. A student has 15 academic years from the expected high school graduation year to use all credit hours or completely receive a refund.
- What are the mandatory fees?
Mandatory fees are those required to be paid by all students attending a particular university/college. Application fees, contact hour fees and fees which are course specific (such as lab fees for science and computer classes, etc.), or fees assessed based on the number of credit hours enrolled are not covered. Also, MET does not pay for room and board or books.
- What if my student's major requires more than 120 credit hours?
MET will stop providing benefits under each contract when MET has paid the semesters purchased. If MET pays for courses that are repeated to improve a student's grade point average or for incomplete, failed or withdrawn classes, they will count against the total number of credit hours allowed under the contract. A standard baccalaureate degree usually consists of 120 semester credit hours (or, on average, 30 credit hours each year). MET does not cover the cost of contact hours (hours spent with the instructor).
- What if my student receives a full scholarship?
If a beneficiary receives a full tuition scholarship he or she may terminate the contract and the refund designee will receive a refund of the average tuition (Full Benefits and Community College contracts) or lowest tuition (Limited Benefits contract). A full scholarship must be equivalent to or greater than the contract years purchased. For example, the student owns a 2-year contract and is awarded a 2-year scholarship; a 4-year tuition scholarship; a 2-year community college scholarship; or a 1-year scholarship renewable for four years.
- What if my student receives a partial or Merit Award Scholarship?
Students who receive partial tuition scholarships, grants, or other types of tuition assistance (including faculty/employee benefits paid by a public institution) may not need all of the educational benefits provided under the MET contract. The institution should invoice MET for all credit hours for which a student enrolls. Any excess amount should be refunded to the student by the institution.
- What if my student attends a Michigan independent (private) or out-of-state college or university?
If a student is admitted to a Michigan independent (private) or out-of-state college, a refund can be directed to the college. The refund amount will be based on weighted average, average, or lowest tuition depending on the type of contract.
- Will MET cover tuition for a student that moves out-of-state after a contract has been purchased but wants to attend a Michigan public college or university?
Under the Full and Limited Benefits contracts, MET provides payment of in-state undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees at a Michigan public university. Each university determines residency requirements. A student who moves out of the state of Michigan after the contract has been purchased and still wishes to utilize the tuition benefits may do so. In such cases, if the university deems the student an out-of-state resident, MET will provide in-state tuition and mandatory fees and the student will be responsible to pay the difference between the out-of-state and in-state tuition costs directly to the university.
- What if a student decides not to attend college?
When a student reaches 18 years of age or receives a high school diploma, the student has the option of transferring the contract to an immediate family member or terminating the contract to obtain a refund paid to the refund designee.
- Who can terminate a MET contract?
Only a student who is at least 18 years of age or has obtained a high school diploma may terminate a contract. Therefore, neither a parent nor a purchaser can terminate a MET contract for any reason. The only exception is if the student has died or is diagnosed as learning disabled, then a person with legal authority to act on behalf of the student may terminate the contract.
- If my student terminates the contract will there be a lump sum refund?
No. Pursuant to the MET statute, termination refunds are made in four annual installments for the Full or Limited Benefits contract if terminating to attend an out-of-state college, receive a full scholarship or not attend college. If terminating a Community College contract, refunds are made in two annual installments. A lump sum refund is provided upon death or learning disability of the beneficiary. See the Termination Refund Provisions chart.
- What provisions can be made if my student terminates the contract for a refund for any reason and later decides to attend a Michigan public college?
None. The MET contract does not permit the reinstatement of a contract once it has been terminated and a full or partial refund has been made.
- How does MET pay for future tuition?
The state's experienced money managers at the Department of Treasury invest the money paid by MET purchasers. Currently those funds are invested in equities (up to 70%) and bonds. MET uses the funds and investment earnings to pay MET beneficiaries' tuition costs and mandatory fees.
- Who manages the MET fund investments?
The Department of Treasury, Bureau of Investments, manages MET's investments and has successfully managed Michigan's $57 billion pension system, which is the 13th largest public pension system in the nation and the 29th largest pension system in the world.
- Are MET purchases made with pre-tax or after-tax dollars?
When purchasing a MET contract you are using after-tax dollars. Pre-tax contributions are usually reserved for 401(k) types of retirement plans.
- Can credit hours be applied to graduate school or advanced programs?
MET contracts are designed to cover undergraduate courses. However, if a student graduates from college after using the MET contract for undergraduate studies and has credit hours remaining on his or her MET contract, the remaining credit hours may be used toward graduate school or an advanced program at a Michigan public university or college at the undergraduate tuition rate.
- Can another 529 program be used to purchase a MET contract?
Yes. A rollover form must be submitted to the other 529 program and a check will be sent to MET.
- Can a MET contract be rolled over to another Section 529 Program?
The beneficiary may rollover MET funds to another 529 program once they reach age 18 or graduate from high school.
- What if a purchaser dies?
If a purchaser of a lump sum contract dies, the executor of the estate should submit a copy of the death certificate, last will and testament, and a letter of authority from probate court. If a purchaser dies without a will, the executor should contact the MET office. The executor of the estate can add an appointee to the contract and change the refund designee, if necessary. However, if the beneficiary is the refund designee, a change is not allowed. If a purchaser of a monthly purchase contract in payment status dies, the total monthly purchases received remain with MET until the beneficiary is 18 years old or graduates from high school. The estate may pay the contract in full or an additional person may purchase another contract.
- What if a purchaser divorces?
Only one person can be named on the Contract Signature Page as a purchaser. Once the contract is accepted by MET the contract belongs to the beneficiary. If the purchaser is named as the refund designee, he or she will retain the right to a refund if the beneficiary decides not to attend college or the right to change the refund designee, if desired.
- If I submit a monthly purchase contract, when will my monthly purchases begin?
If a monthly purchase contract is received prior to January 31, of the current enrollment period, the first monthly payment will be due February 25. For monthly purchase contracts received between February 1 and April 30, the first monthly payment will be due May 25. Monthly purchase contracts received between May 1 and August 31, the first monthly payment will be due September 25. Monthly purchase contracts received in the month of September, the first monthly payment will be due October 25.
- The beneficiary will not graduate from high school in the expected academic year as submitted on the Contract Signature Page at the time of purchase. Can this date be changed?
No. MET contract prices are based on actuarial projections. MET's actuary projected a probable graduation date based on the beneficiary's age/grade at time of purchase. The actuary also took into consideration that some beneficiaries would begin using benefits early and some would begin using benefits late. Therefore, Section 8 of the MET contract allows a beneficiary 15 academic years from the expected academic year to completely use all contract benefits or receive a refund.
- Who can access MET contract information?
Only those persons listed on the contract as beneficiary, purchaser, or appointee will be given contract specific information whether via phone, written communication, email, online access or any other means of communication with the MET office. MET will only provide general program information to all other inquiries.
- How does a MET contract affect a student's eligibility for financial aid?
Effective July 1, 2006, MET contracts will be recognized as a parental asset in determining the student's federal financial aid eligibility. Parents who own contracts for their children will need to report the value of all contracts for all their children as an asset when filing the FAFSA. A worksheet to assist parents determine the value to report is available in the Documents section of the MET website.
- What fees are charged for program administration?
Since MET is administered in-house, only 43 basis points are allocated to program administration.
- Does the State of Michigan offer any other education savings programs?
Yes. The Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP) offers three investment options to encourage families to save for higher education. Savings may be used for tuition, fees, room, board, books and equipment required for enrollment. For more information visit the MESP Web site at www.misaves.com or call toll free at 1-877-861-MESP.
- Do any other states offer a similar program?
Michigan was the first state to adopt a prepaid tuition program, however, 20 states have adopted similar prepaid programs and 50 states and the District of Columbia have adopted college savings programs. For more information on states with similar programs you may call the College Savings Plans Network at 877-CSPN-4-YOU (877-277-6496) or you may obtain information on the Internet at www.collegesavings.org.
- Is there a telecommunications device for the speech/hearing impaired?
Telephone help is available through the Michigan Relay Center by calling 800-649-3777 or 711.
Q – What is Pay-As-You-Go?
A - It is a MET payment method that allows you to purchase credit hours in any increments (to the 3rd decimal place) at the current credit hour price.
Q – Will my price be locked in, similar to a monthly purchase contract?
A – No. You will be paying the current credit hour price. Our enrollment periods and pricing will be published each year on December 1 and prices are subject to increase during each enrollment period. Current prices will always be listed on our website. Unlike monthly purchase contacts, you won’t pay a “rate of return,” so in most cases you will most likely end up paying less over the life of a Pay-As-You-Go contract compared to a monthly contract.
Q – How much do I have to pay to open up a contract?
A – You must purchase at least one credit hour (see price chart) for your chosen contract type. Your initial credit hour payment is due by the 25th of the month after you enroll. You have the option to pay the initial credit hour at the time of purchase (via online enrollment or mailed in signature page) or pay it at a later date, before the 25th of the month after you enroll.
Q – After I open my contract, should I only pay one credit hour, or can I pay more?
A – One credit hour is the minimum, but if you would like to contribute more initially, you can.
Q – What if I don’t pay the initial credit hour in time?
A – 1 day after the due date, you will receive a letter reminding you that it is still due. 30 days after the due date, your contract will be cancelled. If you had made a payment that equaled less than one credit hour, your payment will be refunded.
Q – How will I know how many credits I’ve purchased?
A – If you make a payment by mail, you will receive a letter by mail confirming the credit hours you purchased with your most recent payment, as well as the total number of credit hours purchased to date. Regardless of payment method, you will receive quarterly and annual statements updating you on your current credit hour balance. You can also view your current credit hour balance online at any time.
Q – Can other people contribute to my Pay-As-You-Go contract?
A – Yes! We will accept contributions from anyone, not just the purchaser. Payments from friends and family can be made by mail or on our Pay-As-You-Go payment site.
Q – Can my beneficiary have multiple Pay-As-You-Go contracts?
A – Yes! A beneficiary can have any number of contracts, Pay-As-You-Go or other types. A family may choose to have both a Community College and a Full Benefits Pay-As-You-Go contract, or multiple family members could choose to open up individual Pay-As-You-Go contracts for the beneficiary. The only limit is that each beneficiary may only accumulate up to 150 MET credits of any type.
Q – I have a monthly purchase contract. Can I stop paying on that and start paying on a Pay-As-You- Go contract instead?
A – Yes, you can. Simply send us something in writing (by mail, fax, or scanned and emailed) stating that you no longer wish to make payments on your monthly purchase contract. We will freeze the benefits in that contract and send you a confirmation letter that it has been processed. You can open up a Pay-As-You-Go contract at any time.
Q – Can I make automatic payments on my Pay-As-You-Go contract?
A – Yes! We offer automatic ACH payments. To begin ACH payments, fill out MET form 3695 and include the amount you want to pay each month and we’ll set it up for you. We also offer payroll deduction (contingent on employer participation) and electronic one-time payments in addition to mailed-in payments.
Q – How soon are credits in my Pay-As-You-Go contract available for my beneficiary to use?
A – Credits are available 45 days after the final payment to a Pay-As-You-Go contract has been made. A Pay- As-You-Go contract may be activated or terminated before the 45 days have passed, but no payments will be made until 45 days after the final payment has been made.
Q – Can I keep paying on my Pay-As-You-Go contract while my child is using it at a university?
A – No. Once a Pay-As-You-Go contract has been activated, no other payments can be applied to it. You can, however, open up a new Pay-As-You-Go contract during open enrollment and contribute to that contract while your beneficiary is in school. For example, a family may choose to activate their Pay-As-You-Go contract when their beneficiary begins Freshman year at a university, and then open up a new Pay-As-You-Go contract to keep saving for tuition later in the beneficiary’s college career.
Q – My annual statement says I have purchased 25.732 credit hours. When my beneficiary uses the contract at MSU, will you pay for 25.732 credit hours?
A – Once your beneficiary activates their contract, the credits purchased will round up to the nearest .5 credit hours, so your beneficiary would have 26 credit hours available.
Q – My beneficiary has a lump sum and a Pay-As-You-Go contract. Will there be a different process for activating/terminating the two contracts?
A – No. Activations, terminations, and transfers will all be processed the same way, regardless of the payment method of the contract.