The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Texas still on hook for tuition funds

Viewpoint by Shelly Williams/managing editor

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. They duped us again.

Earlier this year, the Texas Tomorrow Fund, also known as the Texas College Tuition fund, declared bankruptcy. Between 1996 and 2003, the program offered parents with young children a deal allowing them to prepay for college, making expenses less of a hassle later in life.

It froze Texas college tuition rates for parents who joined the fund, allowing them to pay the rate at that time whether the prices have increased throughout the years or not. However, because rates climbed so rapidly, the fund has now become broke, said the Associated Press.

So much for no hassle. Money put into the fund is basically lost. However, the AP said the 119,000 students covered by the program and their parents don’t need to fret — yet.

The fund was suspended after university governing boards were allowed to set their own tuition, causing rates to skyrocket. Because of this, the fund will run out of money around 2017, the story said.

Comptroller Susan Combs, whose office oversees the fund, said in the article that the program is still guaranteed by the state and that tuition will be paid regardless of cost.

Wait a minute, how is it still guaranteed by the state if the state is already in debt? That means the state Legislature must find a way to cover the loss of about $2.1 billion, said an article from an Amarillo news Web site. It’ll be covered by general revenue, meaning all of us.

“The taxpayers of Texas voted this (fund) in, and the taxpayers of Texas have obligated themselves to pay this out over time,” Combs said in the AP article. “You can’t pull a California and send (parents) an IOU. You have a hole, and you must get a shovel and start filling it in.”

So those who have enrolled with the fund will ultimately pay their tuition twice. Those that haven’t will pay for someone else’s tuition when they could use it on their own.

Though it’s no surprise another government spending plan has run amuck, students, current taxpayers and future taxpayers should prepare themselves for another roller coaster ride that should never have happened.

Guarantees are overrated when it comes to government spending ideas.

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