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Frequently Asked Questions

General MET Questions

  • MET is a 529 prepaid education savings program which allows you to pay for future higher education at today's price. MET is flexible, transferable and even refundable. MET is specific to tuition, it does not pay for room and board or books. Depending on the Beneficiary's choices, MET provides:

    • Prepaid tuition and mandatory fees at any Michigan public university and community college upon admission. MET cannot guarantee that a student will be admitted to any Michigan university or college.
    • Funds from a terminated MET can be directed to a Michigan independent (private), out-of-state college or trade school. 
    • Refunds can be made if a beneficiary decides not to attend college.
  • 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 and bonds. MET uses the funds and investment earnings to pay MET beneficiaries' tuition costs and mandatory fees.
  • The Department of Treasury, Bureau of Investments, manages MET's investments and has successfully managed Michigan's pension system.
  • 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.
  • Since MET is administered in-house, only 49 basis points are allocated to program administration. Administration fees are assessed on the trust as a whole, not individual METs. Individual METs are subject to a processing fee, a transfer fee, a termination fee (if terminated for a refund), a late monthly payment fee and a NSF fee, if applicable. No other fees will be charged.
  • Yes. The Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP) and the Michigan Advisor Plan (MAP) offer multiple 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 SaveWithMI529.com. 
  • Telephone help is available through the Michigan Relay Center by calling 711 for assistance.

Purchasing MET

  • When purchasing MET, you are using after-tax dollars. Pre-tax contributions are usually reserved for 401(k) types of retirement plans.
  • Yes. A rollover form must be submitted to the other 529 program and a check will be sent to MET.
  • 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, or 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.
  • 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 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 26. 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 26.

Using Your MET

  • 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.
  • No. A student has 15 academic years from the expected high school graduation year to use all credit hours or completely receive a refund.
  • 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.
  • MET will stop providing benefits under each contract when MET has paid the credit hours 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).
  • 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 plans) or lowest tuition (Limited Benefits plan). 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.
  • 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.
  • If a student is admitted to a Michigan independent (private) or out-of-state college, funds can be directed to the college. The amount of funds will be based on weighted average, average, or lowest tuition depending on the type of plan.
  • Under the Full and Limited Benefits plans, 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 MET 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.
  • 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.
  • MET is designed to cover undergraduate courses. However, if a student graduates from college after using MET for undergraduate studies and has credit hours remaining on his or her MET, 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.
  • The Beneficiary may rollover MET funds to another 529 program once they reach age 18 or graduate from high school.
  • No. MET 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 benefits or receive a refund.
  • Effective July 1, 2006, MET 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 on the Manage Your Account page of the MET website.
  • MET benefits will be applied to the number of credit hours taken each semester, as reported by the institution.  Institutions which are on a block credit hour system will invoice MET for the block rate, but report the actual number of credits taken by the student. MET will deduct the actual credit hours reported from the student's MET.

Pay-As-You-Go Payment Questions

  • It is a MET payment method that allows you to purchase credit hours in any increments (to the third decimal place) at the current credit hour price.
  • 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 contracts, you won't pay a "rate of return" so in most cases you will likely end up paying less over the life of a Pay-As-You-Go contract compared to a monthly purchase contract.
  • You must purchase at least one credit hour (see price chart) for your chosen plan 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.
  • One credit hour is the minimum, but if you would like to contribute more initially, you can.
  • 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.

     

  • One day after the due date, you will receive a letter reminding you that it is still due. Thirty days after the due date, your contract will be canceled. If you had made a payment that equaled less than one credit hour, your payment will be refunded.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Yes, you can. Simply send up something in writing (by mail, fax, or scanned and emailed) stating 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 a Pay-As-You-Go contract at any time.
  • 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.
  • 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 disbursements from MET will be made until 45 days after the final contract payment has been made.
  • 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 while 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.
  • 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.
  • No. Activations, terminations and transfers will all be processed the same way, regardless of the payment method of the contract.

Terminating Your MET

  • No. Pursuant to the MET statute, termination refunds are made in four annual installments for the Full or Limited Benefits plans if terminating to attend an out-of-state college, receive a full scholarship or not attend college. If terminating a Community College plan, 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.
  • On contracts purchased between 1988-2018, 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 Beneficiary has died or is diagnosed as learning disabled, then a person with legal authority to act on behalf of the Beneficiary may terminate the contract. On contracts purchased in 2019 and later, the Purchaser or the Beneficiary may terminate the contract once the Beneficiary is 18 years of age or has obtained a high school diploma.
  • 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.