College Savings Plan
It’s fall. This is the time to sign up for MPACT. MPACT is the Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program. It works like an insurance policy. There is an annual signup. September 1st is when it starts, and it will go through the end of the year (December 31st).
The price you pay is going to be based on several things: first, the age of your child (the younger that child is, the cheaper it’s going to be for you to get started), whether you decide to send them to a university or a community college or some combination, and how many years you want to cover (you can cover one year all the way up to four years).
It will cover tuition plus fees. Now, that’s not everything. If they move on campus, you’re going to have a bigger bill than that, but that’s a great start. What we really want people to understand is that just because it’s a Mississippi plan does not mean they have to go to a Mississippi school. They can go out of state. They can go to a private school versus a public school. If you go to any of those others, it will pay a weighted average of the Mississippi schools which is still a good deal even if you don’t know where they’re going to go.
It’s like an insurance contract that locks in the cost of college today, and it is at this point today still guaranteed by the state of Mississippi.
We also have another plan which is called MACS. This one does not have an annual enrollment. You can sign up anytime during the year. It will cover more than tuition and fees. It will cover all qualified higher education expenses, so those living expenses will be covered.
It is not guaranteed like MPACT is. It works like a 401(k), so you choose the investments. You have these savings accounts or stock accounts and depending on what you put in and how they perform, that’s how much money you have for college.
With both plans, you get a break on your state income tax for money that you put into this. You can use it for private or out of state schools. No tax on the growth of it if it’s used for education. If you want to know more, visit the State Treasurer of Mississippi’s webpage. You can learn more about these plans and sign up online. Get started early.