MONTGOMERY — The annual enrollment period for Alabama’s prepaid college tuition plan opens Oct. 1 with a new tuition option for parents and improved investment returns for the state.
The Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Plan, commonly called PACT, was started by the state in 1990 to provide four years of tuition and mandatory fees at a public university in Alabama or an equivalent amount at a private or out-of-state university.
The enrollment period for this year is Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. Parents, grandparents or others can make a lump sum payment ranging from $21,830 for a newborn to $23,388 for a ninth grader, which is the oldest age covered. Extended payment plans are also available.
With Alabama’s plan and those offered by other states, enrollment has declined most years as the price increased. State Treasurer Kay Ivey, whose office administers the program, said that in an effort to make PACT more affordable, the state will offer contracts for one year of college tuition and fees.
The lump sum price ranges from $5,767 for a newborn to $6,167 for a ninth grader. Extended payment plans are also offered for one-year contracts.
The board that oversees PACT has hired an advertising agency, Blue Olive Consulting of Florence, to promote the program after 17 years of using the state treasurer’s staff to do it.