TROY trustees urge Alabama Legislature to alter PACT legislation

Posted: Friday, 23 July 2010

TROY—Troy University’s Board of Trustees voted Friday to nullify a tuition freeze for students enrolled in the Pre-Paid Affordable College Tuition (PACT) program and urged the Alabama Legislature to “revisit and resolve” a tuition cap for PACT students that exempts some state universities.

The resolution, passed unanimously by the trustees, rescinds the board’s three-year tuition freeze for PACT students approved in March of 2009. Under the conditions of a PACT relief bill passed in the 2010 regular session of the Alabama Legislature, nine of the state’s 12 public universities are required to cap annual tuition increases at 2.5 percent for their PACT students.

Auburn University and the University of Alabama System, which enroll more than 75 percent of the state’s PACT students, were exempted from the tuition cap by the 2010 legislation.

The trustee’s resolution said the bill adversely affects the state’s universities already facing budget challenges caused by dwindling state appropriations. Over the last three years, TROY has lost $17 million in state appropriations.

“Troy University students not participating in the PACT will ultimately be burdened with higher tuition and fee rates over time in order to make up the ultimate losses in operational revenue due to the capping of PACT tuition/fees,” the resolution passed Friday states. “The PACT bailout legislation is simply unfair and unequal in treatment, particularly to an institution that is tuition driven and only receives 18 percent of its funding from the state and because the reality is that non-PACT students will bear a greater burden and portion of funding the institution’s operations.”

The trustees also approved an amendment to the resolution emphasizing that universities boards of trustees are the only bodies that can legally set tuition rates.