By Howard Ballou
Governor Haley Barbour has declared September "College Savings Month".
Wednesday, State Treasurer Tate Reeves marked the occasion by kicking off the enrollment period for the Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College tuition program or MPACT.
Reeves was surrounded by hundreds of Madison Station Elementary School students to announce that September 1st through December 31st, Mississippi families can lock-in today's tuition rates for tomorrow's college students.
Reeves said, "It's a factor that tuition has risen in our state and virtually every other state over the last 10 to 20 years and so affordability and accessibility of a college degree is becoming an issue for many of these kids and their parents and their grandparents, so what we try to do is stress to them the importance of education, but also the importance of starting to save early."
MPACT earnings are tax exempt and contributions are fully deductible from state income tax. It is guaranteed by the state to cover the cost of college tuition and mandatory fees at Mississippi's public colleges. The benefits can also be used for private or out-of-state schools.