Monday, February 14, 2005

Texas Tomorrow Fund freezes due to tuition deregulation

For the second year in a row, the Texas Tomorrow Fund, a state fund that helps low- and middle-income families finance their children's education, has been frozen for the second straight year due to uncertainty over tuition costs. Tuition deregulation, an omnibus measure passed two years ago, has lead to the downfall of the Texas Tomorrow Fund and the TEXAS Grant program.

Texas Tomorrow Fund freeze continues

Web Posted: 02/13/2005 12:00 AM CST
Associated Press

AUSTIN — The state's prepaid college tuition plan won't accept new enrollment for the second year in a row because of continuing uncertainty over tuition costs at public colleges and universities, according to Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn.

"I regret tremendously that that the board had to suspend the program for another year," she said, referring to the Texas Prepaid Higher Education Board, which oversees the $1.5 billion Texas Tomorrow Fund. Strayhorn chairs the board.

"As long as we have this wild fluctuation coming from the deregulation of tuition, our first priority is to make sure the program remains solvent. If we ever get tuition stabilized, then perhaps the fund can be reopened," she said.

The Legislature and Gov. Rick Perry deregulated rates for the first time in 2003. University governing boards were given control of tuition rates, a power previously held by the Legislature, to meet rising expenses.

Tuition costs rose an average of 23 percent from fall 2003 through last fall.


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