Pre-paid tuition plans have been abandoned by policymakers, both free market and liberal. In the words of Brookings Institute educational expert Arthur Hauptman, "States have to be crazy to implement these tuition guarantee plans." [39]

Savings bond programs have emerged as a national trend. Eleven states have passed prepaid tuition plans patterned after MET, while 21 states have passed bond programs. Prepaid plans in three states are operational; bond programs are operating in 13 states.

MET is operating under certain well-specified assumptions concerning tuition increases, future market conditions and rates of return on the fund. Historically, the state's assumption of an average 7.3 percent increase in tuition appears implausible, given periods of high or low inflation. An unfavorable ruling by the IRS with regard to MET's tax status means the fund must achieve an average pre-tax rate of return of about 15 percent. The assumption that MET can achieve an average 15 percent rate of return has never been tested during a bear market.

Ultimately, MET is a political, rather than economic guarantee. Officials understand that defaulting on MET would be prohibitively costly because the program's middle and upper-income enrollees would never tolerate such a default. State Treasurer Robert Bowman, MET's architect, has acknowledged that officials would have to allocate money from other state funds given a MET shortfall. Other possible consequences are cuts in other state programs, or, in a worst case scenario, a tax hike and the loss of programs and independence at universities.

Present value analysis reveals that MET cannot be justified on economic grounds at 13 of 15 major Michigan public universities. MET can only be justified as an investment at U of M-Ann Arbor and Michigan State – the state's two most expensive public schools.

State records suggest MET is not addressing the problem it was established to solve: guaranteeing educational access for the middle class. Approximately one-third of MET enrollees are families with an income level of less than $40,000. Nearly two-thirds of MET enrollees are families with an income level of more than $40,000. The Michigan median family income is $40,105, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The existing tax credit system should be expanded to benefit all state residents, not only MET enrollees. The goal of any program should be to increase middle-class access to education without adding to the burden on taxpayers. MET information should be released publicly to protect consumers.