Pa. announces price rise for credits for future tuition

The amount needed to purchase one credit will rise as much as 20 percent.
HARRISBURG (AP) -- Pennsylvania's Guaranteed Savings Plan promises parents "tomorrow's college education at today's lower prices." Starting next week, those prices will be higher.
On Wednesday, state Treasurer Barbara Hafer announced increases in the amounts that savers must sock away for each "credit" they receive toward their children's prospective tuition at particular schools or school groups. Twelve credits entitle a student to full-time enrollment for one semester.
The increases take effect Wednesday, although credits for contributions postmarked by Tuesday will be based on the current, lower levels, Hafer said.
The Guaranteed Savings Plan is part of the larger Tuition Account Program, or TAP, which Hafer's department administers.
The increases in the credit amounts vary widely, partly because of rising tuition.
The cost of one credit for the 14 universities in the State System of Higher Education will increase by less than 5 percent, from $195 to $204, while a credit for a resident undergraduate student at Penn State University's main campus in State College will increase by 16 percent, from $419 to $488. A credit for the University of Pittsburgh will cost 20 percent more, going from $377 to $452.
Hafer also increased the premiums -- a surcharge on future earnings -- for credits at Penn State and Pitt to counter the effect of recent double-digit increases in tuition for certain students at both schools. She said the increases hinder efforts to make the program financially self-supporting.
"Tuition increases of that magnitude are simply too great to be offset by investment performance alone," she said.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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