Alabama prepaid proposal would remove tuition guarantee

The board of the Alabama Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program (PACT) approved changes to the program's tuition benefits at a meeting on December 29, 2009. The changes are to become effective for the fall 2010 school year, subject to approval by an Alabama Court. They would apply to current plan participants.

Instead of paying the promised full tuition benefits at any in-state Alabama public institution, PACT would limit fall 2010 benefits to the fall 2009 average tuition rate at in-state schools, leaving students at the highest-cost public universities to pay more of the cost themselves.

In each subsequent school year, benefits would not be tied to tuition increases but instead would be increased by 50% of the annualized total fund rate of return, if any, in the PACT program fund.

Several other changes were approved by the board. The board is also pushing for legislative changes that would provide the program with state funding.

The changes are proposed as a remedy to the PACT plan's deep fiscal woes that threaten the viability of the program.
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