The board that runs Mississippi’s prepaid college tuition program said Monday that it wants the Legislature to decide whether the state should reopen the plan to new enrollments or close it.

The plan allows parents or grandparents to pay the cost of tuition at a state community college or university in advance.

If reopening is the answer, the college savings board said it needs $7 million a year over the next 20 years to make up an $83 million shortfall. Closing the plan would be even more expensive, requiring $11 million a year for 20 years.

The plan is backed by the full faith and credit of the state, meaning the board isn’t allowed to pay less than full tuition for enrollees.

Board members said they favor reopening, but said they’re likely to charge more in the future to cushion against shortfalls.

Gulflive
1/28/14