Competitive Edge FAQs

What makes this program unique from other college savings seminars?

Several things. Not only will the Foundation provide education for parents to learn about the importance of starting to save for college early and how just setting aside a little money regularly can really make a difference for the future, but the Foundation will allow parents to set up savings accounts right on the spot. No waiting, no going home and thinking about it, just starting – which is so important. In addition, the Foundation will provide seed money for our students to get them started. This program is very unique and will provide a great service to our families and students. Very few school systems provide the planning and actual set up of a plan for their students.

Why did the Foundation choose to provide this program to kindergarten students?

The Foundation chose kindergarten students as they want families to begin college planning and savings early. Even a small amount of money set aside in a savings program early on can really make a difference for a student when they are ready to pursue their education after graduation.

Will only next year’s kindergarten students have this opportunity?

No. The Foundation plans to continue this program each year for each kindergarten class. Eventually, all students beginning and staying with LPS will have the opportunity to have this savings plan.

Why not do more than just kindergarten?

Each kindergarten class represents about 1,000 students. There are not enough funds available to fund many more students with a meaningful contribution. Again, eventually all students who begin and stay with LPS will have the opportunity to create an account.

Can families of students outside of kindergarten at least have the opportunity to learn about college savings and set up an account themselves?

Yes. We will provide the planning seminars for other parents also, and make it very easy for them to set up an account, too.

What is a Section 529 Savings Plan?

Section 529 refers to a section of the Internal Revenue Code. It creates the ability to set up a savings account to pay for future college or postsecondary expenses where the interest earned on the account is income tax free as long as the funds are used for postsecondary education. This is much different than a normal savings account where the interest earned is taxable income. See www.misaves.com for more information about Section 529 plans.

What are the eligible colleges/universities that can be paid for by this savings plan?

Any accredited university, college, or junior college is eligible. Many accredited trade schools are also eligible. To check for specific schools, go to www.misaves.com.

Are vocational schools eligible?

All accredited schools, whether they are community colleges or trade schools, are generally eligible. To check for specific schools, go to www.misaves.com.

Can funds be used at a private college or out-of-state college/university/other postsecondary schools?

Yes. These funds are not limited to just Michigan schools or public postsecondary schools. They can be used out of state and for private colleges/universities/other postsecondary schools.

Can funds be used for room and board?

Yes, under certain circumstances. See www.misaves.com for details.

Are students eligible who enter our school district after kindergarten?

No, but the Foundation will allow families of other students who come to our district to participate in the seminars to learn about college savings and assist them to set up a college savings account themselves.

What happens to the funds for students who do not attend a post-secondary school?

Funds set aside by the Foundation for any student who does not go on to school will be returned to the Foundation, as they will be the account holder for the monies the Foundation contributed. Any funds set aside by families, in their own 529 accounts, will remain with the family to be used as outlined under Section 529 rules. See www.misaves.com for more details.

What happens to the funds for students who do not graduate from LPS?

Funds set aside by the Foundation for any student who does not graduate from LPS will be returned to the Foundation, as they will be the account holder for the monies the Foundation contributed. Any funds set aside by families, in their own 529 accounts, will remain with the family to be used as outlined under Section 529 rules. See www.misaves.com for more details.

Can a student leave LPS, then later return to LPS and still have the Foundation contribution?

No. Once a student leaves the district, the 529 account set up by the Foundation will be returned to the Foundation. Any funds set aside by families, in their own 529 accounts, will remain with the family to be used as outlined under Section 529 rules. See www.misaves.com for more details.

How is the Foundation funding these savings accounts?

The Foundation is a 501 © (3) non-profit charitable organization that raises funds through generous donations. Donations have come from local businesses, institutions, PTSA’s, parents, employees, retired employees, community members, and through fundraisers.

How much will each kindergarten student be endowed?

Each student will receive a one-time donation of at least $100 to get them going. As the Foundation grows, the goal of the Foundation will be to increase this amount.

What if a family already has a Section 529 College Savings Account or other college savings?

The Foundation will still set up an account for the student that will be in addition to any account the family has began.

What is the difference between this Section 529 college savings account and the MET?

The state Michigan Education Trust (MET) program allows parents to pay a set amount of money right now and guarantee that a certain amount of college tuition at a Michigan school (such as one semester or 2 years) will be provided in the future.

The Section 529 plan provides no guaranteed tuition in the future, but just accumulates tax free and whatever funds accumulated can then be used for college or trade school.

More info on college savings plans can be found by clicking here.

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