McRae: Back to School and Back to Saving
Each year, school bells help ring in the open enrollment period for the State Treasury’s Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (MPACT) plans. These plans allow families to lock in today’s tuition rates and prepay their child or grandchild’s way through college. While you can open a plan like this at any age, it’s a habit that is best when you start early, as starting early often means saving money and securing a lower monthly payment.
I am pleased to let you know we were able to avoid any increase in MPACT rates this year, due to strong market growth and an updated investment strategy that we worked with the state legislature to implement when I first came to office.
MPACT plans can be opened by almost anyone and almost everyone will receive tax advantages for doing so. This means, a grandparent can use it as part of their estate planning, an aunt or uncle can give it as a gift, or a parent can plan early to keep their child out of decades-long debt. Regardless of who opens it, the beneficiary will be put on a path to greater financial independence – one free from the burdens of high student loan debt.
MPACT plans are also made to be flexible. They can be used for two-year or four-year colleges. They can be used in-state or out-of-state, although the plans might not cover the entirety of tuition at private or out-of-state schools in the way they would a public, in-state college or university. Moreover, they can be used for tuition up to eight years after your child’s high school graduation, meaning the plan won’t be diminished if they take a gap year, for example. There are also adjustments made if your child receives a partial or full-ride scholarship. In other words, these plans take a lot of factors into account to make sure they’re going to work for you and your family.
If you are interested in introducing college savings into your new school-year habits, please visit Treasury.MS.gov/MPACT to learn more or call my team at (601) 359-3600. We would love to answer your questions.
To those students and teachers returning to school, welcome back. Have a wonderful 2021-22 school year.