Lansing SAVE Program
What is Lansing SAVE?
Lansing SAVE (Student Accounts Valuing Education) is a college savings initiative for students entering kindergarten in the Lansing School District. Each eligible kindergartener will start the winter semester with an account opened at MSU Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU). Children and their families can contribute to the account throughout grade school and high school at any MSUFCU branch.
Will Lansing SAVE have any real effect on my child's future?
Yes, college savings accounts have been found to have a significant impact on a student's likelihood of completing a degree. Students with an account are four times more likely to finish college than students without college savings.
Who is behind Lansing SAVE?
Lansing SAVE is a joint initiative of the City of Lansing, the Lansing School District (LSD) and MSU Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU).
My child is entering school as a first grader. Will he/she receive an account?
Only students entering the Lansing School District as kindergarteners in target schools will receive a Lansing SAVE account. We do encourage families to save through other options, including opening a Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP) 529 Plan, and savings options offered at local banks and credit unions, including those offered at MSUFCU.
My child is in young fives/preschool, will he/she receive an account?
Your child will not receive an account as part of a preschool or young fives program in the Lansing School District (LSD). However, if your child continues on to kindergarten at LSD, they will receive an account if enrolled at one of the target schools during their kindergarten year.
Why should I sign a consent form?
The consent form gives your school permission to share information with the City of Lansing and the Lansing SAVE program. This form is 100% confidential. No one will require your Social Security Number, and none of your information will be released beyond our partners. You do not need to complete a consent form to activate your account. The consent form is an additional form that helps the Lansing SAVE program evaluate its impact.
What information is shared by signing a consent form?
The consent form will allow the Lansing School District (LSD) to provide information about your child's grades and test scores to the Lansing SAVE program to evaluate what, if any, effect owning a Lansing SAVE account has on their performance in school. Information will never be released beyond our partners.
After filling out my consent form, when will I receive further information?
Once you've filled out and returned your consent form to the Lansing School District no further action needs to be taken.
Can I use the funds for any kind of cost? Does it have to be tuition?
Your Lansing SAVE account is a CSA (Children's Savings Account), and strict rules apply to these kinds of programs. All savings are dedicated to postsecondary education after high school. This includes tuition for college, community college, or other kinds of training programs. It can also be used for books and other education-related expenses.
What will happen to the account if my child does not go to college?
Lansing SAVE account funds can be used toward other kinds of postsecondary education, like community college, city colleges or technical and vocational training. If your child decides not to pursue any postsecondary education, the funds you've saved (privately invested funds) will be returned to your child when he or she turns 26. However, funds contributed to your child's account by the City of Lansing or our partners (public invested funds), and interest accrued on those funds, feature restrictions. These funds must go toward postsecondary education related expenses, and will be reinvested in the Lansing SAVE program if not used by your child for this purpose.
If my child transferred schools, or leaves the Lansing School District, does he/she have a Lansing SAVE account?
If your child has already been enrolled in Lansing SAVE, your child's account will remain open. However, no new matching funds or incentives programs will be available to your child if they are not enrolled in the Lansing School District.
Do I need to take any steps to activate my account?
No, all kindergarteners have been automatically enrolled in Lansing SAVE accounts unless their parents or guardians opted out of the program. If you would like to have online access to view your child's account balance, you must fill out and return the Authorized Signer form
Why can't I withdraw the money in my Lansing SAVE account at any time?
The Lansing SAVE account exists to help make college a possibility for every student. As a result, contributions are bound to that purpose, and funds are distributed only when a child enters postsecondary education. If your child doesn't attend college, then the funds contributed by you and your family (privately invested funds) will be returned when your child turns 26. However, in the case of an emergency or unforeseen circumstance, the student and/or parent/guardian may submit a non-qualified use withdrawal request to the Lansing SAVE program for review.
How much does college cost? How much will we need to save?
Currently, annual tuition at public four-year colleges and universities in Michigan is around $12,768. At private four-year universities tuition costs average around $35,000 per year. Community college tuition costs around $4,500 per year. But it's important to remember that very few families pay the full price for college. While it helps to set monthly or yearly savings goals, even small contributions will add up and make a difference. They'll also make it less likely you'll need to rely on loans.
We honestly cannot afford to save much, and college is so expensive. Why should we bother?
Often just having an account can mean the difference between being able to attend college or not. True, savings alone may not cover the full cost. But if that's your situation, you're not alone. Most students who apply for financial aid qualify for grants, work-study, or subsidized loans. Also, every dollar of savings offsets the need to borrow, giving a child even more of a head start toward a productive career. By saving just $20 or $30 a month starting in kindergarten, you'll amass enough money to make a difference even if it helps offset the costs of tuition, books, and other college-related expenses.
I'm planning for my child to get either a scholarship or full financial aid. Do I still need to save?
We recommend it. A select few students are awarded full, four-year scholarships based on academic performance, athletic ability or financial need, but most students do not receive full assistance. Generally, the school will expect you and your child to contribute toward the total cost. Also, many aid packages come in forms other than grants like subsidized loans or college work-study. By having a savings in place, you can help alleviate the costs for you and your child.
If we can't save enough, what other options do we have for paying for college?
For most families, savings are a necessary part of financing a college education, but it is not the only way. Every student who completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) qualifies for subsidized federal loans. For the 2007-2008 academic year, nearly 80% of full-time students in the United States who completed the FAFSA got financial aid averaging around $12,700. If you are thinking of going back to school or have older high school aged children, you can learn more about financing college and completing the FAFSA by contacting the Capital Area College Access Network (CapCAN).
Lansing SAVE Accounts
How do I access my child's Lansing SAVE account online through ComputerLine (MSUFCU's online banking system)?
In your Lansing SAVE account envelope you received a ComputerLine password and letter with step-by-step instructions on how to log in for the first time at www.msufcu.org. If you have lost or did not receive this letter, please contact MSUFCU.
How do I update my mailing address?
How do we contribute to a Lansing SAVE account?
Where are the MSUFCU branches in Lansing?
There are 12 MSUFCU branches in the Greater Lansing area.
Is the money that is put into a Lansing SAVE account invested or is this strictly a savings account?
The money that is contributed is invested into a One-Year Add-On Certificate. You have the option to reinvest this into a longer-term Certificate as long as the minimum requirements for the Certificate are met.
Can I divert part of my tax refund into my child's Lansing SAVE account?
Once you receive your refund, yes. You can contribute to any Lansing SAVE account.
I sent an electronic transfer a few days ago. When will I see this deposit in ComputerLine?
We post transactions as soon as we receive them. If you are still having issues, please contact MSUFCU by calling 517-333-2424 or 800-678-4968.
How do I make a withdrawal from the account?
You can begin making withdrawals by completing the Withdrawal/Close Account form in your packet.
Are students or immediate family members eligible for membership at MSUFCU?
MSU Federal Credit Union provides financial services to the Michigan State University and Oakland University communities and their families, as well as select employee and community groups. Students or immediate family members may already meet the eligibility requirements for membership. Visit an MSUFCU branch, our website, or call MSUFCU at 517-333-2424 or 800-678-4968 to find out how you can join today!
Can I add a checking to this account?
Lansing SAVE student accounts are deposit-only accounts that help students invest in their future education. If you are interested in having a checking account, you can apply for a personal checking account at MSUFCU.