Is your state prepaid tuition plan flawed?


Program name: Texas Tuition Promise Fund
Cost/Benefit: Because this particular plan was designed by the Texas legislature to shift investment risk to the state schools, participating families are able to purchase future Texas tuition at today's prices -- no premium is charged. However, a student attending a private college or out-of-state institution will receive the lesser of in-state tuition value or the original price paid plus actual fund investment performance.


Program name: Virginia Prepaid Education Program (VPEP)
Cost/Benefit: A family that signs up for one year of the University Plan for a ninth-grader (lump sum payment option due May, 1, 2010) will pay $11,083 or $369.43 per credit hour. Virginia tuition varies widely among its public institutions. For the 2009-10 school year, the highest-cost institution is the Virginia Military Institute with tuition of $11,190 or $373 per credit hour. However, the average tuition at Virginia's public institutions is $7,995 or $266.50 per credit hour.


Program name: Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET)
Cost/Benefit: Each unit in this plan is worth 1 percent of the resident undergraduate tuition at the highest-priced Washington state public university and may be redeemed for use at any eligible institution in the country. The per-unit price is $101 through April 1, 2010. The per-unit payout value for the 2009-10 school year is $76.

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