Seems like about Junior year of High School when I asked my parents about 'my college fund.  Turns out, there wasn't one!

My parents did help me along the way with cash, groceries, love and support when I really needed it, but for the most part, I was on my own at 19 years old. Over the years, while working full-time, I've gotten certifications from Specs Howard School of Media Arts, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Hilltop Yoga. Ultimately, not going the traditional college route turned out well for me and I still like to take an occasional course at LCC or elsewhere when something piques my interest. Getting a bachelor's degree someday is still an option, just haven't figured out yet what would be the focus. Focus is often a challenge for me.

Something that wasn't available to my parents (who had five kids to raise on one income) was the Michigan Education Trust contract, where you can now pay as you go for your child's college education through the state-sponsored program. Get more details here.

Am I getting paid to promote this? No. I just think that for the price of some monthly mobile/cable bills, money towards a formal education for a kid would be a great way to play it.

If you need more incentive to start socking money away for college while the kids are young, the Associated Press reports that in-state tuition rates in Michigan are the 6th highest in the nation. Student debt on average is the 9th highest in the land here in the Peninsulas.

According to the AP, 62 percent of college grads in 2014 had an average debt of nearly $30,000.00.



From a State of Michigan Press Release:
"MET is Michigan's Section 529 prepaid tuition program that locks future tuition at any of the state’s public universities and colleges at today’s rates. The total contract price is eligible for a state tax deduction, and earnings are tax-exempt if used for qualified higher-education expenses. MET contracts are portable to out-of-state and Michigan private colleges and universities, and may be transferred to other eligible family members. More than 96 percent of high school graduates with MET contracts have attended a college or university."