State’s prepaid college plan rebounds to near full funding

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (MPACT) Legacy Plan has rebounded to near full funding, a major reversal from prior expectations.

State Treasurer David McRae made the announcement Tuesday.

In 2019, the Legacy Plan had a 72 percent funding ratio, leaving taxpayers to pay more than $125 million. Today, the plan is funded at 91 percent and the cost to taxpayers has been cut by two-thirds. The Horizon Plan is fully funded at 141 percent and secure going forward.

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Legacy plans were those purchased prior to 2014. Horizon plans are those purchased since.

“For nearly a decade, the MPACT Legacy Plan has been a bill that hung over the heads of Mississippi taxpayers, but today we can rest much easier knowing the road to solvency is nearly secure,” McRae said. “I want to extend a special thank you to our Investments Team for their hard work throughout this process.”

Two key decisions helped the plan rebound — the plan experienced a 27 percent performance investment return in Fiscal Year 2021, the best one-year annualized return in program history; and McRae and the College Savings Board updated and improved actuarial assumptions in 2020 to more accurately reflect historical experiences.

“With each new two- or four-year college diploma, Mississippi gains another skilled worker,” said McRae. “And more skilled workers makes Mississippi more attractive to employers, drives economic development, and empowers young people to reach their God-given potential. I am proud we were able to lift more of the burden from the shoulders of taxpayers while continuing to assist students in their journey toward a college degree and a good-paying job.”