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News at Brookhaven College

For Immediate Release

TEXAS COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS, SUSAN COMBS

Contact: Allen Spelce
September 10, 2008
(512) 463-4070

For Texas Families to Achieve College Savings Goals

(AUSTIN) - Texas families trying to save enough money for their
children's college education no longer have to worry about how high
tuition will rise. Texas Comptroller Susan Combs says Texas' all new
prepaid college tuition plan, the Texas Tuition Promise Fund, lets
families lock in tuition and required fees at current prices of public
colleges in Texas and offers many flexible options to prepay those
expenses before a child is ready for college.

"The Texas Tuition Promise Fund gives families an exciting, flexible way
to save for college that makes sense for their financial situation and
higher education goals," Combs said. "You can prepay for a four-year
degree, or you can prepay in small bites - for just a few classes or
semesters. And, best of all, you don't have to worry about future
tuition increases, because you lock in current prices."

The Texas Tuition Promise Fund offers three levels of pricing to prepay
undergraduate tuition at schools ranging from public community colleges
to four-year state universities. The money may also be used at
out-of-state or private universities, with students and their families
making up for the difference in cost.

Texas Tuition Promise Fund prices will change as state colleges and
universities adopt new tuition rates. Families have several payment
options, including lump sum or installments with an annual interest. For
the current enrollment period running from now until Feb. 28, 2009,
parents of a newborn can pay as little as $15.16 in a monthly
installment plan until high school graduation to prepay a year of
tuition at a community college. Parents of a 7-year-old who want to
prepay the average cost of one year's tuition at a four-year Texas
public university could spread the payments over 10 years for $81.53 a
month. (A more detailed explanation of Texas Tuition Promise Fund
pricing is attached.)

Prepaid tuition accounts must be paid in full and open for at least
three years before tuition benefits can be paid, a feature that
encourages parents to begin saving early. Once enrolled with an account
in the plan, a payment as low as $15 could be made at any time.

"Starting early makes saving for college more affordable, and it also
has another very important benefit," Combs said. "Studies show that
regardless of a family's income level, the children of parents who start
saving early are more likely to have higher academic achievement
throughout their school years. It increases the children's expectations
of going to college and achieving their dreams."

Today, the well-paying, high value jobs boosting the economic engine of
Texas require more than a high school diploma. Texas' top 25 occupations
adding the most jobs requiring an associate/postsecondary education
offer an average salary of nearly $42,000 per year. As Texas grows,
nurses and other health-related professionals will be in demand. There
will also be a great need for pre-school teachers, mechanics, computer
support specialists, legal assistants, real estate agents and more.

"It is critical for the state to offer encouragement to help put higher
education within reach for all families," Combs said. "The Texas Tuition
Promise Fund can allow any Texas family from any economic background to
achieve the education and skills necessary for the work force of Texas'
future economy."

The Texas Tuition Promise Fund may only be used to pay college
undergraduate tuition and required fees. The program does not cover
room and board, books and other college expenses.

"The good news is, Texas offers two college savings plans, the Texas
College Savings Plan and the LoneStar 529 Plan, to help families save
for expenses not covered by the Texas Tuition Promise Fund," Combs said.
"These plans let college savers invest in a variety of funds geared
toward families' different financial situations and savings timelines."

To help families sort out the many options to pay for college, Combs
today debuted a new Web site: Every Chance, Every Texan. The Web site is
a portal to everything parents need to know about paying for college,
including the Texas Tuition Promise Fund, Texas' state-sponsored college
savings plans and other sources of funding such as scholarships and
student loans. The site is a one-stop resource for Texas college and
technical school admissions requirements and financial aid contacts. It
also includes tools to help families calculate college costs and
determine whether they are saving enough money to meet their goals. A
section on tomorrow's careers shows the careers that will be in demand
in the future and the education requirements for various fields.

"Being ready for college when your children are takes time and careful
planning," Combs said. "Every Chance, Every Texan offers clear,
easy-to-understand information to help families stop feeling overwhelmed
and get moving toward their goals."

Visit Every Chance, Every Texan <http://www.everychanceeverytexan.org/>
at www.EveryChanceEveryTexan.org or go directly to the Texas Tuition
Promise Fund <http://www.texastuitionpromisefund.com/> Web site at
www.TexasTuitionPromiseFund.com for detailed information about the new
prepaid tuition program.

The 80th Texas Legislature created the Texas Tuition Promise Fund by
approving House Bill 3900, authored by Rep. Geanie Morrison et al and
sponsored by Sen. Florence Shapiro.

Find details on all the services of the Comptroller's office at www.window.state.tx.us,
including Where the Money Goes, a transparent look at state spending, at
www.window.state.tx.us/wherethemoneygoes.

Summary of Texas Tuition Promise Fund

A family can buy "units" to prepay a student's undergraduate tuition and
required fees. There are three types of units (Type I, Type II and Type
III).

What units represent

* 100 units = One year of tuition and required fees (30 credit
hours).

* 1 unit = 1% of a year's tuition and required fees; 2 units = 2%
of a year's tuition and required fees...10 units = 10% of a year's
tuition and required fees, etc.

* Families can buy any number of units, up to six years of
undergraduate tuition and required fees.

Cost of units

Type I units - Priced at tuition and required fees at the most expensive
Texas public four-year school at time of purchase. Current price =
$98.50 per unit.

Type II units - Priced at weighted average cost of tuition and required
fees across all Texas public four-year schools at time of purchase.
Current price = $67.65 per unit.

Type III units - Priced at weighted average cost of tuition and required
fees across all Texas public two-year schools at time of purchase.
Current price = $16.99 per unit.

Redemption of units when student enters college
100 Type I units - Will cover one year's tuition and required fees (30
credit hours) at any Texas public four-year school.

100 Type II units - Will cover the weighted average cost at the time of
college enrollment of one year's tuition and required fees at any Texas
public four-year school. If a school's tuition and required fees are
above the weighted average cost, the family has to either pay the
difference or redeem additional units to make up the difference.

100 Type III units - Will cover the weighted average cost at the time of
college enrollment of one year's tuition and required fees at any Texas
public two-year school. If a school's tuition and required fees are
above the weighted average cost, the family has to either pay the
difference or redeem additional units to make up the difference.

Contracts could have unused Type I, II or III units if a student attends
lower cost schools. The value of unused units can be refunded or
transferred to a 529 college savings plan or another beneficiary.

Texas Tuition Promise Fund - PDF, 1,494 kb




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