Analysis Of The Michigan Education Trust (MET) Policy

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In the heart of twenty-first century America, state-level higher-education reforms magnify socio-economic injustices of wealth, income and educational attainment. In particular, the Michigan Education Trust (MET) policy allows the unequal distribution of educational and economic opportunities in Michigan to worsen because it merely permits state residents to invest in college savings accounts for student recipients without adequately covering college costs. With a target demographic that has few marketable physical assets like homes and cars and low levels of liquid assets such as wages, the MET is ineffective. It does not allow impoverished account holders to see sufficient returns on their investments as college expenses rise. Furthermore, …show more content…
According to federal guidelines, the MET is a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan in which “you either prepay or contribute to an account for paying a student 's qualified education expenses at a postsecondary institution.” So, to enter their children into the Trust’s college savings accounts, families may pay incremental contributions or lump sums as low as $15 into the mass conglomerate of savings that the state government redistributes to cover all plan members’ tuitions. Therefore, the Trust’s flexible structure encourages families to save towards covering students’ tuitions. Yet, it does not relieve room and board costs for students “who are enrolled at least half-time,” which at the state’s flagship university averages $10,872, and so poor families must pay unaffordable college living costs for their full-time student children. Correspondingly, the MET aims to send more high-school graduates to college through its prepaid payment plans and fill the attainment …show more content…
If Governor Snyder cared to see a greater number of students enter college under the MET, he might visit cities and towns to persuade local lawmakers to raise property taxes. Considering that Section 15 of the MET raises the issue of, without subjecting accounts to, property taxation and Section 16 states that “the trust shall also endeavor…to study the feasibility of instituting programs...that insure full tuition payment upon purchase of a prepayment plan,” property tax increases may solidify the policy’s objectives to widen college access by increasing home equity, or the net value that homeowners gain between their mortgage dues and revenue from home sales. In other words, Snyder could bridge taxation and education issues by drafting a new physical asset-building program that does not involve taxing MET accounts but provides families with more capital to aid academic reimbursement. If county officials and municipal administrators raised property taxes, median home values would appreciate. These tax increases might give residents the leverage needed to profit from selling homes that they could deposit into their accounts. Although such fiscal policy action entails many families relocating and more personal finances lost to government tax collectors, which would likely generate public

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