Elizabeth Daigneau is GOVERNING's managing editor.E-mail: email@example.com
Hoping the second time's a charm, Texas officials launched a new prepaid college tuition plan, four years after the state's old program was closed because of a massive shortfall brought on by tuition deregulation.
Hoping the second time's a charm, Texas officials launched a new prepaid college tuition plan, four years after the state's old program was closed because of a massive shortfall brought on by tuition deregulation. The Texas Tuition Promise Fund lets families lock in current tuition rates and required fees at state colleges and universities. The plan offers three levels of pricing to prepay undergraduate tuition at schools ranging from public community colleges to four-year state universities. Payment options include a lump sum plan or an installment plan that has an annual interest charge. Prices will be adjusted each year based on average tuition and fee increases at state colleges and universities -- the current enrollment period to lock in this year's prices runs through Feb. 28, 2009. Unlike the previous prepaid program, the Texas Tomorrow Fund, universities -- not the state -- will be on the hook for any shortfalls. To further help families out, the Web site, Every Chance, Every Texan also debuted. It's a portal to everything parents need to know about paying for college, including the new prepaid fund, Texas' state-sponsored college savings plans and other sources of funding such as scholarships and student loans. It also includes tools to help families calculate college costs and determine if they are saving enough money to meet their goals. Similar plans are available in other states, including Massachusetts, Michigan, Virginia and Florida.