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Published: Wednesday, 8/29/2007

1-year freeze set in Michigan tuition prepay plan


LANSING - The state will give parents of future college students a break by freezing the cost of buying into the state's prepaid college tuition program.

The Michigan Education Trust Board plans to use $6 million of a $21 million surplus to freeze the cost of prepaid tuition contracts at the past year's level during the new signup period that starts Saturday and runs through next August, MET board President Robert Bowman said yesterday. State Treasurer Robert Kleine said the MET board made the changes as a way to help parents save for college at a time when the state's economy is down.

"We're trying to find more ways to sell more contracts and get more kids to go to college," Mr. Kleine said in explaining the one-year freeze.

With tuition at Michigan's 15 state universities going up an average of 10 percent this fall, the cost of a MET contract without the freeze would have had to go up about $1,000 for a year of prepaid tuition, or around 10 percent, Mr. Kleine said.

The MET plans cover tuition and mandatory fees at Michigan's 15 state universities and 28 community colleges. It will refund the money if a student decides to attend a private or out-of-state school.

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