MPACT | Frequently Asked Questions
Tuition costs are on the rise. With a Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Plan (MPACT), families can lock in tuition rates and prepay their child’s tuition and fees. Here are a few of the most important questions we get:
When can I enroll in MPACT?
The MPACT enrollment period is open from September 1 to May 31. Enrollment for newborns, however, is open throughout the year.
How much does an MPACT plan cost?
Pricing is impacted by a few factors, including how old your child is, whether or not you’re able to apply a down payment, and how many years of college you’re interested in prepaying. Click here for current pricing.
What is the current weighted average tuition rate?
For Semester Institutions (including mandatory fees), the 2020-21 academic year rates are:
- University: $277.23 per credit hour
- Community/Junior College: $106.35 per credit hour
For Quarter Institutions (including mandatory fees), the 2020-21 academic year rates are:
- University: $184.82 per credit hour
- Community/Junior College: $70.90 per credit hour
Is MPACT guaranteed?
Yes! It’s the only prepaid tuition plan available that is guaranteed by the State of Mississippi. This doesn’t mean we guarantee admission to college, however. Students must still meet the requirements for college admission.
Is MPACT flexible?
Yes! You can use MPACT for community college, university/senior college, or a combination, from one year up to five years. It can be used for an in-state institution or an out-of-state institution ($25 administrative fee is charged the first academic term). You can even transfer from one college to another.
MPACT benefits may be able to be transferred to other children in the immediate family who do not have a MPACT contract, including first cousins.
What are the tax benefits?
The payor may deduct from Mississippi taxable income the amount of any payments made under a MPACT prepaid tuition contract in the tax year. Earnings from MPACT are exempt from federal and state income tax when paid to a school by MPACT. Consult a tax professional for detailed information.
How do I begin using my MPACT benefits?
Before contract benefits can be used, all outstanding balances and fees must be paid in full and a valid Social Security Number must be on file for the beneficiary. It is the beneficiary’s responsibility to notify the school’s billing office of their intent to use MPACT funds. If the school has any questions about eligibility to use MPACT, just refer them to us at 1-800-987-4450.
How will MPACT pay tuition benefits?
The school will bill MPACT directly for the payment of tuition and mandatory fees.
Please note: The MPACT contract does not cover the cost of books, lab fees, transportation, orientation fees, room and board, or other fees that are not considered mandatory. Costs not covered by the MPACT contract will be the student’s responsibility.
- Do you have a Legacy Contract (purchased prior to 2014)? MPACT will pay 100% of the public in-state undergraduate tuition rates and mandatory fees. For out-of-state or private institutions, MPACT will pay a rate equivalent to the weighted average tuition and mandatory fees at Mississippi public colleges and universities at that time.
- Do you have a Horizon Contract (purchased since 2014)? MPACT will pay 100% of the public in-state standard undergraduate tuition rates and mandatory fees. MPACT will not cover full tuition for specialty courses of study if the specialty course’s tuition rate exceeds the standard undergraduate tuition rate. For out-of-state or private institutions, MPACT will pay a rate equivalent to the weighted-average tuition and mandatory fees at Mississippi public colleges and universities.
When will the school receive payment for my MPACT benefits?
Schools typically invoice MPACT for tuition and mandatory fees after the school’s 100% add/drop date. MPACT will issue payment approximately 4-6 weeks from receipt of the school’s invoice.
How long do I have to use my MPACT benefits?
- Do you have a Legacy Contract (purchased prior to 2014)? You are allowed up to 10 years from the student’s projected college enrollment date to use the benefits.
- Do you have a Horizon Contract (purchased since 2014)? You are allowed up to 8 years from the student’s projected college enrollment date to use the benefits.
Does my child need to notify MPACT of their school choice?
- For an in-state public college or university, you do not need to notify MPACT. The student will, however, need to notify the school’s billing office of their intent to use MPACT benefits (the MPACT Matriculation Card is provided for this purpose). You also do not need to notify MPACT if the student decides to postpone their college enrollment.
- For an out-of-state or private institution, MPACT requires notification of the beneficiary’s intent to enroll. This notification must be received 60 days prior to the child’s enrollment. You can indicate your school of choice by completing the “Intent to Enroll” form online through MPACT Online Access or download the Intent to Enroll Form.
What happens if I purchased a university contract but my child goes to a community college or vice versa?
MPACT will pay the full community college tuition and the purchaser will be entitled to a refund of the difference between the weighted-average university tuition in that year and what MPACT actually pays the community college. MPACT benefits can also be held for future use.
In cases where the student has a community college contract, but attends a four-year university, MPACT will convert the community college hours into university hours based on the then current relative costs and pay the tuition. This results in fewer hours on your contract, but enables MPACT to pay your university tuition until benefits are exhausted.
What if my child decides not to attend college or earns a scholarship?
- If your beneficiary receives a full scholarship, which covers tuition and mandatory fees, MPACT benefits can be held for future use or refunded to the purchaser. The amount of the refund is based on (1) the current cost of in-state tuition and fees at the Mississippi public institution your beneficiary is attending or (2) the weighted-average tuition and fees at Mississippi public institutions if this child is enrolled at a private or out-of-state institution. To process the refund, a notarized Scholarship Refund Form must be completed by the purchaser and returned along with the proof of enrollment and proof of scholarship.
- If your beneficiary receives a partial scholarship, MPACT benefits can be used to cover the tuition and fees not paid by the scholarship. The unused MPACT benefits can be held for future use.
- If you decide you will not need your MPACT tuition benefits, they can be held for graduate school. However, MPACT will only pay the undergraduate rate. If the student receives a baccalaureate degree and has benefits remaining, the purchaser may submit a completed and notarized refund of unused hours form.*
*A refund of unused hours ONLY applies to MPACT Legacy Accounts. MPACT Horizon Accounts do not qualify.
How will having an MPACT contract affect the beneficiary’s ability for financial aid?
MPACT plans are treated as investments on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). As such, they should be reported as parental investments. The FAFSA requires the “refund value” be used when reporting prepaid tuition plans, which is the amount the account owner would receive if the account were closed and a refund were issued. Parents should report the refund values of all prepaid tuition plans they own for all dependent children.
Your FAFSA reporting value is available through the MPACT Online Access under Benefits Information. For help, call 1-800-987-4450.
Which Mississippi public community colleges and universities does MPACT apply?
The MPACT program applies to these public community colleges and universities, but the benefits may also be transferred to private in-state schools as well as private or public out-of-state schools.
Public Four-Year Universities:
- Alcorn State University (www.alcorn.edu)
- MS University for Women (www.muw.edu)
- Delta State University (www.deltastate.edu)
- MS Valley State University (www.mvsu.edu)
- Jackson State University (www.jsums.edu)
- University of MS (www.olemiss.edu)
- MS State University (www.msstate.edu)
- University of Southern MS (www.usm.edu)
Public Two-Year Community Colleges:
- Coahoma Community College (www.coahomacc.edu)
- Meridian Community College (www.meridiancc.edu)
- Copiah-Lincoln Community College (www.colin.edu)
- MS Delta Community College (www.msdelta.edu)
- East Central Community College (www.eccc.edu)
- MS Gulf Coast Community College (www.mgccc.edu)
- East MS Community College (www.eastms.edu)
- Northeast MS Community College (www.nemcc.edu)
- Hinds Community College (www.hindscc.edu)
- Northwest MS Community College (www.northwestms.edu)
- Holmes Community College (www.holmescc.edu)
- Pearl River Community College (www.prcc.edu)
- Itawamba Community College (www.iccms.edu)
- Southwest MS Community College (www.smcc.edu)
- Jones County Junior College (www.jcjc.edu)