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New program helps state college savings participants build their accounts

Vitalii Vodolazskyi - stock.adob

Michigan’s state-run college savings program has a new way to help people bulk up their accounts.

It’s a partnership between theMichigan Education Savings Program and the company UPromise, and it works like a cash-back rewards program. People who sign up automatically get a small percentage of their purchases at many retailers deposited in their MESP account.

Diane Brewer manages the MESP, and is the director of the Michigan Education Trust. She said the program applies to “your everyday activities, just what you would normally do—gas, shopping, dining. All those things that we do during the course of the day,” Brewer said. “Online shopping is included.”

Brewer suggested that this makes getting a college savings account even more attractive for many people, especially if the child they’re saving for is still a few years away from college and they’re “looking for having full coverage and other means to pay for education,” she said. “So the sooner you can start, the better.”

Brewer said a number of other states have similar partnerships with UPromise. The program is up and running now in Michigan, and is free to all MESP account-holders.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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