Michigan Education Trust Celebrates 20th AnniversaryContact: Terry Stanton, 517-335-2167 Agency: Treasury
This year marks the Michigan Education Trust's 20th year of helping Michigan families ensure their children have access to higher education by locking in tomorrow's tuition at today's rates.
"The MET program has experienced significant success since its debut as the nation's first guaranteed tuition program in 1988," said Michigan State Treasurer Robert Kleine. "Michigan families have purchased more than 87,000 contracts and the program now holds more than $1 billion in assets. Still, MET's greatest impact may be that well over 90 percent of high school graduates with MET contracts have gone on to attend college."
The entire MET program focuses on the importance of saving for higher education now - no matter the amount. With a MET contract:
- Parents never pay more for tuition than it costs today.
- Tuition can be purchased by semester, up to four years (eight semesters) of education.
- Students can attend Michigan public and private, and out-of-state colleges and universities.
- MET contracts are transferable to other eligible family members.
The importance of higher education to Michigan's economic future prompted Governor Jennifer Granholm to create the Michigan Promise scholarship, which provides up to $4,000 to high school graduates for successfully completing two years of postsecondary education. The State of Michigan also offers the Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP), a tax-advantaged savings plan that can work with MET to help families save for college.
"These programs are also a critical piece in our efforts to revitalize the state's economy," said Treasurer Kleine. "Studies show states with the highest number of college graduates generally have the lowest unemployment rates and the fastest-growing economies."
Adults holding a college degree can earn significantly more over their lifetime than those with high school diplomas. A U.S. Census Bureau report concluded adults 18 and older, with a bachelor's degree, earned an average of $54,689 in 2005, while high school graduates earned $29,448 - a difference of more than $25,000 a year and up to $1 million or more over a lifetime.
"As we celebrate MET's 20th anniversary, we remind parents, grandparents and others that a college education is key to our children's future, and there is no time like the present to start planning," Kleine said. "Saving today - no matter what the amount - could make a million-dollar difference in a student's life tomorrow."
MET's 2007-2008 enrollment period closes August 31. MET encourages families considering a MET contract to do so this month to maximize their investment. For more information visit www.SETwithMET.com or call 800-MET-4-KID (800-638-4543).