The Michigan Education Trust (MET) – the Section 529 prepaid college tuition program administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury – is reminding families saving for their children’s education that its current enrollment period will end Sept. 30.
MET – which allows families to buy future college tuition at today’s prices – is expected to reopen for new contract purchases in December.
It closes enrollment each fall for administrators to review pricing and does not sell new contracts during that time.
Also, in observance of College Savings Month, MET will waive its $25 application fee for new contract purchases during September.
“College Savings Month is the perfect time to highlight the importance of beginning to save for college as soon as possible, and we’re hopeful that waiving the enrollment fee will encourage more families to start saving,” said MET Executive Director Robin Lott, adding that purchasing a contract this month would also protect against possible price increases.
Although an overwhelming majority of Michigan parents view a college education as an investment in their child’s future, only about half are currently saving for higher education expenses, according to a survey of Michigan parents MET released last year.
Washington University’s Center for Social Development says that having savings over a period of years may raise young students’ educational expectations in addition to their academic effort and achievement. Youth who have education-related savings are almost four times more likely to attend a four-year college than those with no account. For example, more than 96 percent of high school graduates with MET contracts have attended a college or university.
Other reasons to save for college include the fact that it’s cheaper to save than to borrow and that it also reduces student loan debt, Lott said.
Lott also noted that families who make a MET purchase in September – as well as those who wait until December when enrollment reopens – will qualify for a deduction on their 2019 Michigan tax returns.
While enrollment is closed, holders of MET Pay-As-You-Go contracts can continue to add money to their accounts at current prices until pricing for the 2020 enrollment period takes effect.
The Pay-As-You-Go option allows purchasers to buy prepaid tuition in credit hour increments rather than on a semester basis, which requires a greater upfront investment. After making the initial minimum purchase of at least a credit hour, Pay-As-You-Go contract holders can buy additional prepaid tuition with contributions of as little as $25.
MET also sells contracts through lump sum and monthly purchase plans.
More information about MET is available at SETwithMET.com or 800-MET-4-KID.
MET is one of three 529 college savings plans administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury. The others are the Michigan Education Savings Program and the MI 529 Advisor Plan, each of which allows investors to grow their savings tax-free in various investment options.
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.