Michigan’s 529 Awareness Week Promotes Saving for Children’s College Education

In celebration of National 529 Day and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proclamation of May 22 through May 29 as 529 Awareness Week, the Michigan Education Trust (MET) is encouraging families to give the gift of college credits to Michigan children — and it is throwing in an incentive to sweeten the deal. 

MET, the state’s 529 prepaid tuition savings program, will waive enrollment fees on new contracts opened online between May 22 and June 2. 

Purchasers can open a MET contract online at SETwithMET.com using coupon code 529DAY23. 

Also, area families will have an opportunity to learn about saving for college during a free community informational session hosted by the Michigan Department of Treasury’s Section 529 college savings plans from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, at the Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Ave. in Traverse City. 

Representatives from the Michigan Education Trust (MET) and Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP) will be on hand to discuss the features and benefits of each plan and offer general tips to educate parents, grandparents and others on saving for college. 

Event attendees, who are encouraged to arrive at their convenience anytime between 3 and 7 p.m., will also have the opportunity to purchase a MET contract and open an MESP account on-site. MET will also contribute $150 toward each new prepaid tuition contract purchase during the session. See SaveWithMI529.com for match eligibility requirements. 

Administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury, MET allows contract holders to buy future college tuition credits at today’s prices. 

“The MET program is a dependable option for Michigan families, regardless of their financial situation, to begin saving for their children’s college education,” said MET Executive Director Diane Brewer. “Gov. Whitmer’s 529 Awareness Week proclamation and National 529 Day signify the importance of college savings and present special opportunities to motivate families to start thinking and preparing financially to ensure children’s access to higher education is unfettered.” 

Brewer added, “Anyone can contribute to a child’s college education savings plan. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or other loved ones can all use MET to help children reach for their dreams — even if those dreams have yet to be imagined.” 

Brewer noted that an increasing number of young adults face 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 and start their career without being saddled with massive debt. 

“No one can predict a child’s future, but MET can help a family prepare for it by paying for future education at today’s costs,” Brewer said. “Saving even just a little bit early on can go a long way toward avoiding future college debt.” 

While the main reason for investing in MET is to purchase future college tuition at today’s prices, Brewer also pointed out the 529 plan’s tax advantages. For instance, withdrawals from MET are not taxed by the state or federal government when it comes time to pay for qualified higher education expenses. 

Michigan residents who are MET Purchasers can also claim a state tax deduction on the total contribution they make during a calendar year. 

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