Giving Hope with a College Education
Giving the gift of a college education is one of the best ways we can make a difference in our state and our community. The future of Michigan, its communities and its businesses is held in the hands and minds of our young people. If we educate tomorrow’s generation, nurture their talents and creativity, they can take us to the pinnacle of prosperity through innovation and productivity.
College graduates earn more money, are more likely to find employment with health and retirement benefits, and it is easier for them to find and hold jobs. There are also numerous non-monetary benefits. Studies show college graduates are far less likely to smoke, more likely to eat well and engage in physical activity, and contribute more to their communities.
Higher education has a ripple effect that extends well beyond those who are directly affected. For example, Michigan benefits from having healthy, well-trained workers that can help to attract good-paying jobs. All told, college education has a lasting positive impact on our entire society—our families, our communities, our state and our nation.
Unfortunately, there are too many people who are deterred from choosing higher education for themselves or their children because they don’t know how they will cover the rising cost of college. This is a loss to our society that our economy can ill afford.
Charitable giving and education are already priorities for many businesses and organizations throughout Michigan. Now, the Michigan Education Trust (MET) prepaid tuition program is providing a better way to combine the two.
Established in 2008, the MET Charitable Tuition Program allows businesses and organizations to purchase from one to four years of college education for a deserving individual or child in the community at a special discounted rate. A MET contract helps organizations stretch their scholarship dollars further since it allows groups to pre-purchase tomorrow’s tuition at today’s rates.
MET credits can be used at any Michigan public university or college, including 28 community colleges. Various payment plan options are available and the total cost of the MET contract qualifies for a Michigan income or business tax deduction.
The Carrollton School District, near Saginaw, is one organization using MET charitable contracts to deliver the hope of a college education. Under the direction of superintendent Craig Douglas, PhD, the district is purchasing around 40 contracts in a monthly payment plan.
The contracts would cover one year at a community college. Families apply for the scholarships when children are in preschool or kindergarten. The tuition will be awarded years later after children and their parents meet various merit-based criteria.
With the help of MET charitable contracts, Douglas is delivering hope and enthusiasm to younger generations. You too can give the gift of education and pave the road to a brighter future for all of us.
More than 90 percent of high school graduates with MET contracts have gone on to attend a college or university. Find out more by visiting SETwithMET.com.
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Robert J. Kleine is the State of Michigan’s 43rd State Treasurer.