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Troy’s PACT plan comes as no surprise

Troy University’s decision to unfreeze tuition for PACT students shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The university voluntarily imposed a three-year freeze on tuition last year for students in the Alabama Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Plan, after the plan threatened to collapse last year due to inadequate funding.

This year, the Alabama Legislature decided to aid the PACT program by pumping $547.6 million over 13 years into its coffers. By itself, that was a good decision.

But what came next was a disgrace. The Legislature also imposed a 2.5 percent annual cap on tuition increases for most of the states two- and four-year institutions, including Troy. However, the Legislature agreed to pay full tuition at the University of Alabama campuses and at Auburn University and Auburn University Montgomery, without any cap on increases.

Favoritism?

We think so.

Unfair?

Absolutely.

And, when the Troy Board of Trustees met last week and voted on tuition increases for its upcoming year, members decided removing their voluntary freeze on PACT tuition increases was only fair. Why should Troy, which already has lost $17 million in state appropriations from proration, suffer even more at the hands of legislative favoritism?

Ultimately, the nearly 16,,400 Troy students who don’t participate in PACT will pay the cost of those 600 who do, as will the students at the other state schools restricted by the Legislature.

Meanwhile, universities such as Troy are going to face difficult, and unpopular decisions, as they seek to find solutions to ever-shrinking state funding sources.