What is the U.Plan? 

Learn about the Massachusetts prepaid college tuition plan that allows you to get a head start on paying for your child's college costs by locking in current rates on tuition and mandatory fees.

Get Started Saving in the U.Plan

Walk through each step of getting started in the U.Plan, including creating an online account, choosing your maturity years, and setting up monthly contributions.

Set Up Your U.Plan Online Account

If you already have a U.Plan account but need to get online access, find out the easy steps of setting up your online U.Plan account to make saving for college quicker, easier, and more convenient.

Set Up U.Plan Automatic Deposits

Learn the simple steps to setting up automatic deposits for the U.Plan, which allows you to regularly contribute a set amount of money from your bank account at whichever frequency you select.

Making a Distribution From Your U.Plan Account

You can use the funds from your U.Plan Prepaid Tuition Program account to pay for tuition and mandatory fees at any one of the plan's participating colleges and universities in Massachusetts.

U.Plan FAQs

How does the MEFA U.Plan compare to a 529?

Read our comparison here.

Is there a minimum to open a U.Plan account?

You can open an account and begin the process of saving with any amount, but the minimum to purchase a U.Plan Tuition Certificate is $300. If you have at least $300 in your account at the time of the bond purchase in mid-July, your contributions will be used to purchase Tuition Certificates and will lock in that percentage of tuition and fees at each participating Massachusetts college and university. If you do not have $300 in your account at the time of the bond purchase, then your funds will remain in your money market account and will not be used to purchase U.Plan certificates that year.

Can I set up automatic contributions?

Yes, you can enroll in an automatic monthly deposit, or choose a different withdrawal schedule. This makes it easy to save in the U.Plan throughout the year.

What is a maturity year?

A maturity year is the year you'll be permitted to redeem your Tuition Certificate(s) for tuition and fees. Your maturity year(s) should be one or more of the years in which you expect your child to attend college. Use our Maturity Year Selection Guide to determine the appropriate maturity years for your U.Plan savings.

Are there strategies to apply when allocating my investment?

Please reference our blog post, U.Plan Investment Strategies, for guidance on selecting the maturity years for your investment.

How do I figure out what years my child will attend college?

You would need to estimate that based on your child's current age or grade. There is a Maturity Year Selection Guide and embedded in the online account setup to help you estimate on mefa.org. But use your discretion as this is only an estimate. Your child's date of birth and local school enrollment guidelines may factor in as to when your child enters Kindergarten.

Do I have to pick a school now?

No, you are not required to choose a college ahead of time. With the U.Plan, you don't have to choose a school until it's time for your child to attend college.

What if my child doesn't go to college or attends a school not in the program?

If a student does not attend a participating college or university, you have three options:

  1. You can wait and see if the student's plans change. Certificates are valid for six years after the maturity year.
  2. You can transfer the role of Beneficiary to another student within the family.
  3. You can cash out the funds. The owner will receive the funds that were invested in the plan plus interest calculated at the Consumer Price Index (CPI). There are no federal or Massachusetts tax consequences associated with cash-outs, but if you live outside Massachusetts, please consult the laws of your state of residence.
What if my child takes a gap year or graduates early?

Tuition Certificates are valid for six years after the maturity year. If your Tuition Certificate matures and your child has not yet started college, you can simply hold on to it and use it the following year. The certificate will retain its value from the previous year.

Since the U.Plan bonds don't become liquid until your chosen maturity year, accessing U.Plan money early is more difficult. We will work with customers to honor their request if possible but we cannot guarantee that customers can access their U.Plan funds before they mature.

When will I receive my 1099-DIV from the U.Plan?

The 1099-DIV from the U.Plan will be mailed out each year by January 31st, and will also be available to view at that time within your online account. The 1099-DIV reflects your earnings on any U.Plan savings invested in a money market mutual fund. MEFA will only mail a 1099-DIV if your earnings equal or exceed $10.

What schools participate in the U.Plan?

Over 70 public and private colleges and universities in Massachusetts participate in the U.Plan. At each of these schools, your savings will lock in a percentage (up to 100%!) of current tuition and mandatory fees. You can view the full list here.

What is a prepaid tuition plan?

A prepaid tuition plan is a college savings program that allows you to prepay up to 100% of tuition and mandatory fees at participating colleges and universities. This provides a safeguard against the increase in college tuition.

What does the prepaid tuition plan cover?

Prepaid tuition plans cover tuition and mandatory fees at participating colleges and universities.

What's the difference between a prepaid tuition plan and a college savings plan?

A college savings plan is any type of savings plan that allows you to save for future college expenses by setting aside money today. Massachusetts offers two college savings plan options, both with tax advantages: the U.Fund 529 College Investing Plan and the U.Plan Prepaid Tuition Program. The U.Fund provides different investment options and can be used at practically any college or university in the country. The U.Plan allows you to lock in current rates on mandatory tuition and fees at over 70 colleges and universities in Massachusetts.

What are some advantages of prepaid tuition plans?

Prepaid tuition plans such as the U.Plan offer many benefits. Read our blog post, 5 Reasons Why Everyone Loves The U.Plan to learn more about benefits the U.Plan offers.

What doesn't a prepaid tuition plan include?

Unlike a 529 plan, a prepaid tuition plan cannot be used to cover food and housing, books, supplies, and equipment.

What happens when CPI is greater than the rate of college tuition increase?

If interest calculated at CPI outpaces the rise of tuition, we will cash out the Tuition Certificate to the owner. The U.Plan will always pay the highest value of the Tuition Certificate to the school or owner.

Call us at (888) 590-5653 or email us at collegeplanning@mefa.org.