JACKSON, Miss. (WCBI) – Enrollment in Mississippi’s nationally recognized prepaid college tuition could reopen sometime next year.
State Treasurer Lynn Fitch closed new enrollments in the plan last fall as rising tuition costs and a slumping economy hurt the fund’s long-term outlook. The freeze gave an outside auditing firm time to crunch numbers to see what it would take to keep it solvent. The plan currently has more than 22,000 enrollees but is under funded by $79 million. If changes aren’t made, taxpayers could have to shore up the fund in 10 years.
The MPACT board is reviewing options that could include increasing enrollment fees but still would make the plan a bargain for parents.
MS State Treasurer Lynn Fitch says, “My ultimate goal will be to open the plan back up because it’s critical to have an investment in our children’s education because that’s the work force. Will it look the same? I’m not sure. I think we have to look at the numbers, we have to look at the rates, out investment and so it may not be the product that it is now but will be very similar.”
Fitch says, it’s unclear the time line on when the program will be up and going, but she hopes to have it implemented sometime next year.