Alabama program to pay college tuitions back on track

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 4:58 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The state’s nearly collapsed college tuition program is back on track for the first time in over a decade. Alabama’s Prepaid Affordable College Tuition program, or PACT, is expected to pay full tuition at state universities for participants during the upcoming fall semester, all thanks to $177 million allocated by the state Legislature.

“The program is liquidating. As we have liquidated, the number of students are less and less,” said state Treasurer Young Boozer.

Boozer says there are around 9,00 students left. PACT stopped accepting new students in 2008 as the cost of college skyrocketed.

“We had to shut down the program,” said Boozer. “And we restructured it.”

Melissa Clark had the chance to invest before the shutdown.

“I am glad that I did not have a lot of that money tied up in PACT,” said Clark.

She says her dad’s advice stopped her from doing so. He questioned the stability of the financial investment.

“Obviously, from what’s happened in the last few years, that kind of, it proved that he was right,” said Clark.

Her daughter, Caroline McKaliegh, currently studies communications at a community college in Gulf Shores, but paying for school is still a challenge.

“Between the two of us, we managed to get it all paid. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to help her, but it’s a struggle, also, but it’s a good struggle,” said Clark.

Clark says they’re preparing for the cost of a state university, but the state is prepared to help those enrolled until the program is complete.

“We did some calculations and to do, ‘what if?,’ and what if tuition increases by 4% a year all the way to 2032? What situation will we be in?” said Boozer. “We’ll be in good shape.”

Any money leftover will go to the state’s Education Trust Fund.

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