May 20, 2019
The Michigan Education Trust (MET) is hoping that some addition and subtraction will help put more families on the path toward saving for their children’s future higher education.
The Section 529 prepaid college tuition plan administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury will provide a $50 match on the first 529 new Pay-As-You-Go contracts opened between May 25 and May 31.
It will also waive its $25 enrollment fee during that span.
MET is offering the incentives – available to purchasers who open a contract online at SETwithMET.com using coupon code 529DAY – in observance of 529 College Savings Plan Day on May 29. Only one account per beneficiary qualifies for the match and fee waiver, and MET will make the match after account holders complete their purchase of at least one credit hour of prepaid tuition.
“We’re always striving to make saving for college as easy as possible for Michigan families, and we’re hopeful that the $50 match and enrollment fee waiver will encourage those who haven’t started yet to begin setting at least some money aside,” said Robin Lott, MET executive director.
“Every little bit helps, and every dollar a family saves is a dollar they or their future college student won’t have to borrow.”
A 2018 MET-commissioned survey found that although an overwhelming majority of Michigan parents view a college education as an investment in their children’s future, only about half are saving for higher education expenses. The leading reason for not saving for college was not having enough money, which was cited by 6 in 10 nonsavers.
MET’s 529 Day incentives are intended to help families overcome that hurdle, as is its Pay-As-You-Go contract purchase option. Pay-As-You-Go allows purchasers to open a contract with an initial purchase of just a credit hour’s worth of prepaid tuition, lowering the initial cost of establishing a MET contract.
After the initial outlay, Pay-As-You-Go contract holders can purchase additional tuition whenever they wish in minimum increments of $25.
MET also sells contracts through lump sum and monthly purchase plans that require minimum purchases of a semester’s worth of tuition.
Held each year on May 29 – or 529 – 529 Day shines a spotlight on the importance of saving for college and how Section 529 plans can help families meet their goals. Named after the portion of the Internal Revenue Code that allowed for their creation, 529 plans are tax-advantaged savings vehicles offered by states.
Earnings in Michigan’s three 529 plans – MET, the Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP) and the MI 529 Advisor Plan – grow tax free, and Michigan residents qualify for a state deduction on contributions made to any of the plans.
MET, the nation’s first prepaid tuition plan when it began operating in 1988, allows contract holders to lock in future college tuition costs at today’s prices. In comparison, MESP and MI 529 Advisor – which are also administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury – offer various investment options to accumulate money for college expenses.
More information about MET is available at SETwithMET.com or 800-MET-4-KID.
Administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury, MET is Michigan’s Section 529 prepaid tuition program that locks future tuition at any of the state’s public universities and colleges at today’s rates. MET contracts are portable to out-of-state and Michigan private colleges and universities, may be transferred to other eligible family members and are refundable if the student does not attend college. More than 96 percent of high school graduates with MET contracts have attended a college or university.
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