Alabama had two 2,125 people sign up for its Prepaid Affordable College Tuition program this year. That's about 1,000 less than normal.
State Treasurer Kay Ivey, who oversees the program, said one reason is that the cost of enrolling an infant jumped 34-percent, primarily due to colleges enacting double-digit tuition increases. Also, she says some parents held off to see whether Alabama voters would approve the governor's tax package and its accompanying college scholarship plan.
Ivey expects more interest during the next enrollment period of August and September 2004. But she says there will be another increase in costs because universities are looking at raising tuition again.
Ivey says the PACT program is still a bargain. She says the $15,528 that it took to enroll an infant this year is less than the current cost of four years of tuition at the typical Alabama university. By the time that infant reaches 18, the cost is expected to be more than $60,000.