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Fall 2011 could be end for Alabama tuition plan

MONTGOMERY(AP) — Alabama’s prepaid college tuition plan appears unable to pay tuition beyond the fall semester of 2011 and still have enough money to provide refunds to the 44,000 participants, administrators said.

For leaders of the Save Alabama PACT parents group, that creates the need for the Legislature to find a solution in the current legislative session.

Patti Lambert of Decatur, the group’s co-founder, said she would prefer a solution in the Statehouse rather than the courthouse, but members may have no choice but to join a handful of parents who have already sued the state to demand the program keep its promise of full tuition.

“I suspect we will be forced to. We are certainly not going to wait until we have no room to maneuver,” Lambert said in an interview Tuesday.

Alabama’s Prepaid Affordable College Tuition plan used to offer parents or grandparents the opportunity to pay a fixed amount when a child was young and then get four years of tuition at a state university when the child finished high school. To pay the tuition, the board overseeing the program invested the money, mostly in stocks.