Making Your Child’s College Dreams Come True


You want your child to dream big — and be whatever she or he wants to be. That bright future ahead is exciting, but it can also feel pretty overwhelming. Will my kids be prepared for college? What about the tuition costs? Those are two of the heftiest worries that weigh on parents’ minds when it comes to higher education. Fortunately, though, you don’t have to go it alone. Metro Parent’s Making Your Child’s College Dreams Come True, sponsored by MESP, offers support and resources to set you and your child up for less stress and more success. Our college planning checklists have you covered from grade school to high school, and our tips for affording college detail the methods, the deadlines and, of course, the scholarships. Get ready to be empowered — and help make your child’s dreams come true. And check back here often for even more college-prep content!

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College Planning Checklists

As students know, being prepared is essential to making the grade. The same goes for college planning. Our handy checklists break down the essentials at different grades, from honing study habits and exploring careers to standardized tests and application forms.

Middle School College Planning Checklist

Planning for college is easier the earlier you start. Discover some core ways to help your middle-school tween prepare for higher education.

High School Freshman College Planning Checklist

A new adventure is kicking off, but it's also prime time to start thinking about the next step.

High School Sophomore College Planning Checklist

It's year two, and your student is getting in a good grove.

High School Junior College Planning Checklist

From expectations to extracurriculars, not to mention big focus on college, junior year of high school can be intense.

High School Senior College Planning Checklist

This is it! The future is on the horizon.

Affording College

It’s never too early to start saving for college. That said, whatever your child’s age, there are many ways to fund and defray tuition. Discover the ins and outs of 529 savings plans, like MESP, along with scholarships, financial aid, grants and more.

The Perils of Student Loan Debt: What You Need to Know

For many college students, student loan debt is a hard reality that can linger for years. Here's how to plan for, and manage, paying for higher education.

What are Parent PLUS Loans for College and How do They Work?

If you didn't save enough money for your child's college education, you're far from alone. But there's a loan for that – and it's...

Plan Early and Include Family to Reduce Student Loan Debt for Your Child

Discover why opening a Michigan 529 when your child is young can help reduce debt in the long run.

How to Avoid the Scholarship Scams

There are people out there looking to take advantage of students searching for financial aid. Learn to manage your search and avoid scholarship scams.

Getting Financial Aid for College with FAFSA

Learn the why students need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, how to apply for FAFSA and why your role matters.

It’s Never Too Late to Start Saving for College

When should you start saving for college? While it's true that earlier is ideal, it's not always reality. Learn how to gain ground with an MET or MESP account.
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Preparing for College

What can parents and students do to prepare themselves for the college years? A lot! Get tips from college students and experts on gap years, choosing the right college, increasing your chances of a success and much more.

Find the Right College Fit for Your Child

The University of Michigan executive director Ted Spencer, who's also served as dean of admissions, offers five insights to students looking for the right path in higher education.

Kid Going Away to College? Here’s How to Cope

Parents might not know how to handle this transition in their child's life. Here's how to get through the big change.

What is a Private College?

We break down the basics of this higher education option, address the cost of private college and highlight private school benefits.

Gap Year Pros and Cons

What is a gap year – and what sort of impact does taking a year off before college have on your teen? Here, find out more about gap year pros and cons.

The Summer Melt: Why Some College-Bound Kids Don’t Go

After students are accepted to college, a percentage don't attend. Learn how to spot signs of the summer melt phenomenon – and freeze it in its tracks.

Insider Tips and Advice for College Bound Students

Counselors and college admissions representatives in southeast Michigan share tips for families to help in mastering the college application process.

College Application Help for High School Students

Need to know how to start applying for college? Families are getting an edge with admissions counselors, test prep services and lots of early planning.

College Students Don’t Have to Declare a Major Right Away

An Oakland University graduate offers four takeaways for new college students – and explains that you definitely don't have to declare a major right away.

MESP, managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc. on behalf of the Michigan Department of Treasury, is one of three Michigan Section 529 plans sold directly to families who are saving for college. MESP offers Michigan taxpayers a state income tax deduction on contributions and potential tax-free growth on earnings if account proceeds are used to pay for qualified higher education expenses. MESP can be used at any eligible college, university or trade school in the nation and some abroad for a variety of costs, including tuition, fees, certain room and board costs, books, supplies and equipment required for enrollment. Get more information about helping your child or grandchild afford their college dream with an MESP college savings account.