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SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2005
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EDITORIAL

PACT investment good college deal

Around here, PACT stands for Parents and Children Together. Statewide, PACT stands for Prepaid Affordable College Tuition.

The purpose of both programs, while they are not related, is to protect children. And both programs involve parents.

State Treasurer Kay Ivey was in Decatur last week promoting the statewide PACT that is a good deal for any parent who plans to send children to college.

PACT allows parents to lock in their children's tuition cost at today's prices even though they won't go off to college for many years.

"If you haven't paid for college tuition lately, you would experience sticker shock," she said.

And she's right. Four years of tuition at a state college or university, she said, is $21,000. By the time a child born this year goes to college, the projected cost will be $70,000.

Her message is to lock in tomorrow's cost today and to go ahead and pay for it now, or in monthly installments. Parents and grandparents may buy tuition contracts for the state program this year for as little as $183 per month.

The program has great flexibility, including refunds when children decide to not attend college.

"It is so important for families to begin saving and planning now to meet the financial challenge of paying for future college expenses," she said.

Alabamains who are skeptical of state government may ask if PACT benefits politicians. It doesn't.

Some 60,000 future college students are enrolled. So why not call this week for more information?

Treasurer Ivey is passionate about the program that began long before she became its overseer as treasurer 2 years ago. She wants people to call her office at 1-800-252-7228 for more information. Her Web site is www.treasury.alabama.gov.

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