AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reminds Texas families to take advantage of the opportunity to enroll their children in the Texas Tuition Promise Fund and avoid future increases in tuition and required fees at Texas public colleges and universities.

The current enrollment period for the state’s prepaid college tuition program ends Feb. 28.

The Texas Tuition Promise Fund allows participants to lock in the cost of undergraduate tuition and required fees at Texas public colleges and universities at today’s prices and choose from a variety of affordable options to prepay for those costs.

“In Texas, the average cost for 15 credit hours at a public college or university has risen by more than 70 percent since 2003,” Combs said.

“With the Texas Tuition Promise Fund, families can avoid future tuition and required fee increases at Texas public colleges,” the comptroller said.

After Feb. 28, enrollment in the program at 2010-11 prices will close, except for parents of newborns and children under 1-year-old, who have until July 31 to enroll at this year’s prices. Open enrollment will resume in September with new contract prices based on Texas public college costs for the 2011-12 academic year.

The plan is a prepayment contract for tuition and required fees at Texas public colleges and universities. It also includes all the tax advantages that come with any other 529 plan, including federal income, gift and estate tax benefits.

Under the plan, families can prepay tuition and required fees for a four-year degree, two years of community college or just a few classes or semesters at Texas public colleges and universities by purchasing higher education “tuition units.” It takes 100 units to pay for one academic year of tuition and required fees.

Payment options include lump sum payments, several installment plans and a pay-as-you-go plan that lets families start small and gradually add more units at the prices in effect at the time of purchase.

Once your account is opened, your friends and family can make contributions to your child’s account using the Texas Tuition Promise Fund gifting option.

Complete plan information, current prices, enrollment forms and more are available online at, or call 800-445-GRAD (4723), Option 5.

“Family finances may be tight, but the Texas Tuition Promise Fund offers an affordable, flexible plan to fit almost any budget,” Combs said. “And taking control of the cost of your child’s college education gives parents one less financial worry.”