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Michigan Education Trust celebrates September as National College Savings Month

A Michigan Education Trust (MET) alumnus now working for the Tampa Bay Rays is taking a timeout from his team’s run for the playoffs to remind his fellow Michiganders that September is National College Savings Month — the perfect time to get set with MET.

To celebrate September as National College Savings Month, Nick Armes, a Livonia native and Director of Fan Experience for the Tampa Bay Rays, is among MET advocates stepping up to the plate to encourage more Michigan families to enroll in MET just like his parents did when he was a child.

“Even though I never swung a bat, I’m living my big leagues dream because my parents enrolled in MET and began saving for my education when I was young,” said Armes, a 2013 Central Michigan University graduate. “I didn’t swing a bat or field a flyball to earn my way to the majors. I got here by having access to an affordable education thanks to my parents and MET.”

In recognition of College Savings Month, MET, the state’s 529 prepaid education savings plan administered by the Department of Treasury, will waive the $25 enrollment fee on new contracts opened from Sept. 1 to Sept 30. See for rules and eligibility and use coupon code CSM23 for the fee waiver.

“Unlike Major League Baseball, everyone makes the playoffs when they enroll in MET,” said Diane Brewer, executive director of MET. “Hitting it out of the park by saving for future educational needs at today’s prices makes everyone a winner.”

Signed into law in 1986, MET, the nation’s first 529 prepaid education savings plan, has helped tens of thousands of families since 1988 with an affordable way to save for their education by pre-purchasing tomorrow’s tuition at today’s rates. More than 96% of high school graduates participating in MET have attended a college, university or technical school. 

Among the many motivations for opening a MET account, Brewer pointed to the increasing number of young adults facing significant debt after completing their college education. By getting an early start in offsetting the often-overwhelming financial burden associated with higher education, MET enables more people to attend college or pursue other post-secondary education and join the workforce without being burdened with massive debt.

Brewer noted that anyone can contribute to a child’s education savings plan, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and others. With a Pay-As-You-Go plan, once the plan is opened, contributions can be as low as $25.

“MET has been providing families peace of mind as they work, plan and save to help provide their children with a debt-free start to pursue their dreams,” Brewer said. “There is a MET plan for everybody.”

Brewer added, “Nick Armes and so many others serve as testimony to the value MET provides in helping our children hit the ground running as they begin fulfilling careers without being saddled with excessive debt.”

The 529 plan also has tax advantages. For instance, distributions from MET are not taxed by the state or federal government when it comes time to pay for qualified 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 at any time during the year through MET’s online pay site. The MET gift declarations also allow contributors to print out certificates of their contributions designed for holidays, birthdays, graduations and more that can be put in a card or gift wrapped.  

MET is hosting a series of webinars throughout the year to inform families about Michigan college savings plans, including features and benefits of MET contracts as well as the tax advantages of 529 savings plans like MET.