Planning for College

The Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP) can help you start saving for a college education today.

For most families, saving enough to pay for the costs of higher education may seem overwhelming. However, with proper planning, funding a college education can be easier to achieve. MESP has tools and resources that can help set your plan into motion today.

10 Simple Steps to help you set up a plan:

  1. Set your goals for saving for your child or loved one's college education (i.e. pay for 4 years of college expenses; save a certain amount for each child; match half of the cost of college).
  2. Use our calculator to estimate how much you need to save to meet your goals.
  3. Consider other assets you may have already set aside (UGMA accounts, savings bonds, Education IRAs).
  4. Research all ways to save for college (financial aid, scholarships, loans and savings).
  5. Start maximizing your tax benefits today by investing with MESP. It’s easy to start and simple to save.
  6. Set up an automatic contribution plan or payroll deduction (if your employer allows) to help accomplish your goals that much faster.
  7. Revisit your college savings goals annually to stay on track.
  8. Involve your child or loved one so they understand the meaning of your investment.
  9. Encourage others to help.
  10. For Michigan taxpayers, remember your contributions to a MESP account may be state tax deductable at tax time! Consider reinvesting any potential tax refund in your MESP account.

The gift of a college education for a child or loved one can last a lifetime. A college education can open doors to future economic success. Statistics show that a median income for someone with a bachelor’s degree is 74% higher than the median income for someone with a high school diploma. This can amount to over $800,000 more in income over a working lifetime.

1Table 3. Median Earnings for Workers Aged 25 and Over by Educational Attainment, Work Status, Sex, and Race and Hispanic Origin: 2007 (Earnings in dollars) Educational Attainment in the United States: 2007, US Census Bureau, January 2009

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