In his January 1986 State
of the State Address, Michigan Governor James J. Blanchard proposed that Michigan adopt a
state-run prepaid tuition program " designed to help parents guarantee to their
children the opportunity of a Michigan college education". Such a program would
address the concern that many had about soaring tuition costs during the first half of the
1980s. The result of this proposal was the Michigan Education Trust, developed in 1986 as
the first program of its kind, with which any resident of Michigan could pay a stipulated
amount into the trust to cover the future tuition of a particular beneficiary.
. The future is assuredly bright for QSTPs. New programs are
springing up all around us, and any state that still lacks a program will continue to feel
the "peer pressure" to get one going. Substantial dollars are beginning to find
their way into QSTPs. Public awareness is increasing as the financial press becomes more
alert to this option and bigger advertising dollars begin to be spent.
The newer programs tend to have better features than the programs that
have been around for several years. As people come to realize that they have a choice,
"program shopping" will become more prevalent and some states will find many of
their citizens jumping the border to obtain better perceived benefits with another
states program. There will be many individuals who have already enrolled in QSTPs
that later seek to change programs, either by requesting refunds (and paying any penalty)
or by rolling over their accounts from one program to another.