College Savings

What is a Tuition Certificate?

Learn how the U.Plan Prepaid Tuition Program allows you to use Tuition Certificates to lock in a percentage of today's tuition and mandatory fee costs at participating schools.
Family saving for college

As part of the U.Plan Prepaid Tuition Program, MEFA purchases general obligation bonds issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. These bonds are stable, secure, and backed by the full faith and credit of the Commonwealth. When families save with the U.Plan, their dollars purchase an ownership interest in these bonds, which we call Tuition Certificates.

MEFA keeps track of the percentage of tuition and mandatory fees that each family's Tuition Certificates have locked in at the over 70 participating college and universities in Massachusetts. As families contribute to the program each year, their savings accumulate. MEFA provides each family with an annual statement that shows the power of their savings.

When it comes time for families to use their Tuition Certificates to pay for college, their savings will be paid directly to the U.Plan college or university that they designate, or returned to the family if the student is not attending a participating U.Plan college or university.

For a great visual explanation of how the U.Plan works, watch our U.Plan Made Simple video

Why does this matter to you?

An incredible benefit of the U.Plan is how it allows you to save towards freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year of college in a very organized and methodical way. As you purchase Tuition Certificates, you will designate the years that your child will be in college – let's say, for example, those years are 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2029. Your money will lock in a percentage of today's tuition and mandatory fee costs to be used in those years. Unlike stocks and mutual fund investments, which are tied to the stock market, Tuition Certificates are stable, secure, and guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. And saving specifically for all four years of college is a smart way to plan ahead and avoid possibly having to borrow later.

To learn more, jump over to the U.Plan page here.

And if you have any questions or want to talk with a member of our U.Plan service team, don't hesitate to call us at (800) 449-MEFA (6332) or email us at

Learn more about the U.Plan