© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

How To Keep Tuition & Fees From Climbing On Your Child's Academic Future

Chris Eudaily
TPR News
Texas State University-San Marcos

The state’s prepaid college tuition program known as the Texas Tuition Promise Fund began its open enrollment this month.

This is the sixth year for the fund that gives parents the opportunity to lock in tomorrow's college tuition costs at Texas public colleges and universities at today's prices.

Families can purchase one of three types of  prepaid "tuition units" that are later applied toward undergraduate tuition and fees. Prices are based on 2013-14 academic year costs for the state’s public colleges.

  • Type I units, the most expensive at just over $118 per unit, pay for the most expensive public four-year state institutions
  • Type II units are based on a weighted average cost across all public four-year Texas schools
  • Type III units are based on the average of two-year schools

One hundred units equal roughly one academic year, or 30 hours of credits and fees. A family can pay for up to six years of undergraduate hours.
Payment options include lump sum payments, installment plans at 8 percent interest, or a pay-as-you go plan that allows parents to gradually add more units when the family budget allows. Payments can be as low as $15 after an account is established by paying a one-time fee of $25 and purchasing at least one unit.

The Texas Tuition Promise Fund replaced the constitutionally-protected Texas Tomorrow Fund, which was closed in 2003 due to a lack of funds.

Under the new plan, state law requires all Texas two- and four-year public colleges and universities to accept tuition units as payment for tuition and required fees.