Saving for College, One Mom’s Story

One mom’s story about how she and her husband got the ball rolling saving for college for their children utilizing Michigan Education Trust (MET).

Saving for College, One Mom’s Story

By Becki, West Bloomfield, Michigan

Living in Michigan, we are very fortunate to have exceptional public universities available to us. Whether someone wants to major in art, science or law, there are so many amazing colleges to choose from.

Education was always stressed in our family, starting when the children were very young. My husband, Steve, and I knew our kids could fulfill any of their goals by attending a Michigan public university. For that reason we saw the Michigan Education Trust (MET) as a great opportunity with no downsides.

While students may direct a refund to any eligible university in the country, either private or public, we wanted our children to take full advantage of the MET program by attending one of our great state’s
institutions.

While less costly compared with today, college tuition rates were on the rise even in the 1990s. That’s when Steve and I knew we had to get serious about saving for college. We were looking into our saving options when both Steve’s sister and a good friend recommended MET, the Section 529 prepaid college tuition plan administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury. They were very happy with the plan and thought MET would be a perfect fit for us.

MET allows families to lock in future tuition costs at any of Michigan’s public universities and colleges at today’s rates. In fact, if my husband and I think about what we paid for our MET contracts versus the cost of tuition when our children began college, we realize we were so ahead of the game. It was wonderful.

We purchased two semesters worth of college credits for each of our four children in the 1990s. Then we started making monthly payments for our eldest two children, which gave us some control over the timing and amounts of our monthly contributions. We later added monthly plans for our youngest
two children. By the time they reached college, all four of our children had full four-year MET contracts worth a total of 120 credits each.

When it came time to pay for college, it was such a relief to have MET handle all tuition payments. Those costs were simply taken care of. In fact, our second child graduated high school in 2008, right about when the stock market crashed. But because we had our MET benefits locked in, it thankfully did not affect our child’s ability to attend college.

The college savings program’s flexibility is remarkable. Our children finished high school with advanced placement credits; therefore they did not need all 120 credits that we purchased. Two of our children have attended medical school at Michigan universities. They were able to apply their unused credits toward their M.D. programs. In addition, while many out-of-state institutions accept MET refunds , my daughter’s out-of-state law school does not, so we were delighted to learn that we had the ability to
transfer her unused credits to my son for his medical degree!

As a parent, you don’t always realize how quickly time flies. One day your child is going off to kindergarten, and then you blink your eyes and you are helping that same child pack for college. It all happens very fast, and it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. MET’s monthly purchase plan option
helped my husband and me continually save along the way. Now, our children are a lawyer, a doctor, a soon-to-be lawyer and a soon-to-be doctor. We could not be more proud of their accomplishments, and we could not be more grateful for having had the opportunity to save with MET.

Side Photo credit – Steve and Becki, West Bloomfield, Michigan.

This Saving for College, One Mom’s Story article is provided by Michigan Education Trust (MET), Michigan’s 529 prepaid tuition plan which allows for easy transfer of undergrad tuition for any child residing in Michigan.

More information about MET is available at www.SETwithMET.com or 800-MET-4-KID.

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