LANSING — The state is giving away 100 tuition prizes to children in a random statewide drawing that family and friends can enter students into.
The prepaid tuition prize is worth $15,000 and is in celebration of the Michigan Education Trust’s (MET) 35-year anniversary.
Governor Whitmer announced the launch of the MET 35th Anniversary $1.5 Million Giveaway on Thursday.
Under the MET’s giveaway, Michigan residents 18-years-old or older on Aug. 31 are eligible to enter on behalf of children up to 5-years-old by the same date for a chance to win the $15,000 in prepaid tuition.
A person may enter only once, but multiple people may enter on behalf of the same child. The prepaid tuition prize may be used to pay for future tuition and mandatory fees at a community college, college, university or trade school in accordance with MET terms and conditions.
The state says the giveaway is not being funded by state tax dollars, but instead from a “prudent investment strategy” over the last decade that has resulted in a record surplus for the MET, which can now be used to invest in Michiganders.
Earlier this year, the MET’s board of directors unanimously agreed to use a portion of the surplus to increase awareness of the MET and provide more Michigan children with access to higher education.
“This life-changing giveaway is an awesome way to celebrate 35 years of helping Michigan families save for higher education,” Whitmer said. “It will help more students attain the education and skills they will need to achieve their career goals and bring us closer to meeting our goal of 60 percent of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree by 2030.
“I would encourage any family thinking about saving for higher education to look into MET — as my parents did for me — and start today,” she added.
Whitmer thanked former Governor Jim Blanchard, who proposed the MET plan in his state of the state address in 1986 and signed it into law later that year.
“Back then, parents and grandparents didn’t have a lot of options to save for a child’s higher education,” Blanchard said. “We created MET and it has been a key that has helped unlock opportunities for tens of thousands of Michiganders to receive the education, training and skills that lead to better jobs, social mobility and economic security. I’m proud of the lasting impact MET has had on so many.”
The giveaway entry began May 26 and ends on Aug. 31. Winners will be announced in a series of drawings beginning Sept. 12. Michiganders can enter the giveaway and review rules and eligibility criteria at METgiveaway.com.
What is the Michigan Education Trust?
The MET lets families pay today’s prices for future higher education costs.
More than 96 percent of high school graduates participating in the MET have attended a college, university or technical school, according to the state.
There are three types of MET plans: The full benefits plan, the limited benefits plan and the community college plan. Families can purchase one plan or mix and match options.
The MET benefits can be used for postsecondary education at universities, colleges and technical schools. If a child chooses to attend a private Michigan school or out-of-state college or university, funds can be directed to that institution.
The MET benefits may also be transferred to other eligible family members and are refundable if the student chooses to attend trade school or does not attend college.
Parents, grandparents or other family and friends can make MET contributions on behalf of beneficiaries. The MET has flexible payment options that allow purchasers to pay as they go, pay all at once or make monthly payments.