NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Saving for a child’s college education can be difficult, especially with the possibility of increasing tuition costs. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reported that the average cost of college increased 72 percent from 2003 to 2009.
However, according to state officials, the Texas Tuition Promise Fund will help students avoid increasing tuition costs. The program allows parents to start making payments on their child’s tuition from birth.
“If you enter into an installment contract, you lock in that future tuition and required fees," said Linda Fernandez, the director of educational opportunities and investments. "So what you buy now at today’s cost in seventeen years is gonna be worth whatever that current cost is.”
Account holders can purchase tuition units that represent an amount of tuition and fees.
“The college they select and the type of units they select will determine how many units they have to redeem," Fernandez said.
This only applies to public state schools. Students who attend private schools or go out of state will only receive transfer value of their parents’ payments, less than what will go toward public schools. Otherwise, the plan is flexible and even has refund options if a student’s education is funded by scholarship or other means
As for advice on enrolling, Fernandez says the sooner, the better.
“The sooner people start on that, the better it is for them, because it’s a smaller payment," she said. "It’s like making a utility payment every month, you don’t even think about it.”
The enrollment deadline for infants under one year of age is July 31st. General enrollment for next year opens September 1st. To enroll you can visit the Texas Tuition Promise website.