Securing In-State Tuition

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Four years on campus can be costly.

So mother of two Sheila Cornfield put her money in MET more than 10 years ago and locked in low in-state tuition prices for her kids.

"It's worked out great for my family," the East Lansing mother says. "My daughter just graduated in December, and I think the benefit we received was double."

"MET's a pre-paid college tuition program," explains MET financial analyst Dalynne Preston. "There are three different types of contracts: full benefits, limited benefits and community college benefits."

Preston says you can either put money in a trust in one lump sum-- but that's $42,000-- or over a number of years (between four and 15). And when your student goes to college, the money's applied to an in-state public school.

"If a student decides to go out of state, there's a refund amount available to the out of state college," she says.

But it wouldn't likely cover all the tuition. And if you move out of state and want to go to a Michigan school, MET only will cover what the in-state tuition would be.

MET representatives are advising people, if interested, to lock in low prices now. On February 1, 2009, the $42,000-plus tuition will jump to $44,000-plus tuition for four years.

But if you're looking to save some extra money these days like everyone is, not everybody agrees that the MET program is the best way to save you dollars.

"We haven't advised a lot of clients to be involved with the MET plan," says Raymond James financial advisor Doug Adler. "Certainly everyone should do their own calculations, but by our pencil, the rate of return is not overly attractive."

He says you can maybe make better returns by finding an investment plan on your own.

Adler says a 529 college savings could fit that bill. It can be used problem-free in any state and you can control where you invest those funds, though MET has some upsides, he says.

"For someone who doesn't work with a professional, the MET might be a good idea," Adler says.

Either way, all parties agree: Planning for college, no matter the avenue, is a must.

Saturday at 10 a.m. representatives from MET will be at the Capital Area District Library answering questions about new MET contracts.

Are You Saving For Your Child's Education During This Bad Economy?

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  • by Anonymous on Jan 25, 2009 at 04:05 AM
    This does not cover all of michigan schools. It is only covered those who are sponsored by the state. Which is 1/5 of all schools
  • by Brian Location: Dewitt on Jan 24, 2009 at 08:39 AM
    Well, I definitely won't be doing any business with Mr. Adler or his company. The MET is one of the most safe and best investments you can make when it comes to investing in education. Where else can you put your money and be guaranteed that in 18 years is will still be there and have probably grown by 10% or more. Of course Mr. Adler would like you to invest with him and the stock market. It's a win win for him. Even if you loose your money. he still gets his commission and in 18 years he won't be around to take the blame when you don't have any money to send your kids to college.
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