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Grandma Holds Secret Treasure with Keys to Educational Future for 7 Grandchildren


Grandmother Carol A., a retired metro Detroit municipal worker now living in Petoskey, has a secret she’s willing to share with anyone but her seven grandchildren — at least for now.

Her secret will remain under wraps until her grandchildren are ready for college or until someone spills the beans that their tuition is already paid for through a wise investment in the Michigan Education Trust (MET).

Carol A. isn’t revealing her last name or providing more clues to her identity even as she goes public to sing MET’s praises and raise awareness among Michigan grandparents and others about a way to secure their loved ones’ educational futures.

MET is a 529 prepaid tuition savings program administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury that lets families pay today’s prices for future higher education costs. MET funds may go toward paying tuition and mandatory fees at a community college, college, university or trade school in accordance with the program’s terms and conditions. 

“It’s a wonderful gift for your grandchildren,” Carol A. said. “But we don’t want them to stop working hard for their dreams just because they know their college is paid for.”

Carol A., along with her now deceased husband, first opened a MET account in 2008 after their first grandchildren (twin boys) were born.

“We didn’t want our own two children to worry about paying for tuition for their kids like we did when they were heading off to college,” she said. “Like many parents, we didn’t have the money back then to pay for their entire college. They had to work. MET gives our children the peace of mind and security to know their own children won’t have to worry.”

She added, “We didn’t know we were going to have seven grandchildren.”

MET offers a range of plans and purchase options.

“At first, we told our two children that we would limit them to three MET plans per family — six total,” Carol A. said. “Then one more (grandchild) came along. We had to be fair, so we bought one more.”

In all, Carol A. has managed to purchase 121 college credits for each grandchild — enough for four years of college for all seven grandchildren.

She said it would not have been possible had it not been for MET’s flexible plan options and the ability to spread payments over time.

“We are not wealthy — not by a long shot,” she said. “But MET was easy to fund because we didn’t have to do it all at once.”

Investing with MET

Anyone can contribute to a MET tuition savings program, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and others. With MET’s flexible Pay-As-You-Go option, once a single credit is purchased, contributors can buy additional prepaid tuition at any time in amounts as low as $25.

The 529 plan also offers tax advantages. For instance, distributions from MET are not taxed by the state or federal government when it comes time to pay for qualified higher education expenses. Michigan residents who are MET contract holders can also claim a state tax deduction on the total contributions they make during a calendar year.

Contributions to an existing account can be made by anyone at any time during the year through MET’s secure online pay site. MET gift declarations allow contributors to print out certificates noting their contributions that they can gift wrap or put in a card or for holidays, birthdays, graduations or any other occasion.  

MET, the nation’s first 529 prepaid tuition savings program, has helped tens of thousands of families since 1988 with an affordable way to save for college by prepurchasing tomorrow’s tuition at today’s rates.

More information about MET is available at or by calling 800-MET-4-KID.