(CBS DETROIT) — Michigan is kicking off a $1.5 million tuition giveaway in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Michigan Education Trust (MET), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday.

One hundred children up to 5 years old will be selected to receive $15,000 prepaid tuition.

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Officials say Michiganders 18 years and older will be eligible to enter on behalf of the children. Applicants can only enter once but multiple people can enter on behalf of the same child.

The prepaid tuition may be used to pay for future tuition and mandatory fees at a community college, college, university or trade school in accordance with MET terms and conditions.

“This life-changing giveaway is an awesome way to celebrate 35 years of helping Michigan families save for higher education,” Whitmer said. “It will help more students attain the education and skills they will need to achieve their career goals and bring us closer to meeting our goal of 60% of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree by 2030.

“I applaud Treasurer Eubanks and the MET Board for making this opportunity possible, and I especially want to thank Governor Blanchard for his leadership and long-term vision that have left a remarkable legacy. I would encourage any family thinking about saving for higher education to look into MET — as my parents did for me — and start today.”

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The MET plan was proposed in 1986 by then Gov. James Blanchard during his State of the State address. Blanchard signed it into law later that year.

“A lot has changed over the past 35 years, but one thing still holds true today — a family’s desire to help put their children on the path to a bright and successful future,” Blanchard said. “Back then, parents and grandparents didn’t have a lot of options to save for a child’s higher education. We created MET, and it has been a key that has helped unlock opportunities for tens of thousands of Michiganders to receive the education, training and skills that lead to better jobs, social mobility and economic security. I’m proud of the lasting impact MET has had on so many.”

Giveaway entries are accepted until Aug. 31. Winners will be announced in a series of drawings beginning Sept. 12.

For more information and to enter the giveaway, visit METgiveaway.com.

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