How are you saving for college?
Whether you have a teen, tween, toddler or infant, it’s never too early or too late to start setting aside funds for college.
When my tween daughter and son were born, my in-laws immediately purchased them “University Plans” through Florida Prepaid. It was their gift.
When my youngest child was born in 2011, they went to do the same but found the cost to be out of their budget. We have sadly joked that our youngest daughter is going to need a scholarships to pay for college. Until, this past week!
This year’s open enrollment for Florida Prepaid, October 15, 2014 through February 28, 2015, marks a HISTORIC low on Florida Prepaid College Plans since 2007. A new state law that limits the future cost of tuition allowed the Florida Prepaid College Board to reduce the prices of the plans. So much so, that we are now starting to discuss purchasing my toddler a plan.
If you are like me and start scratching your head on where to start with this, let me give you a little breakdown of what you want to know:
What is Florida Prepaid?
Florida Prepaid allowed families to “get ahead” of future college expenses with affordable, flexible and TAX-FREE prepaid college and 529 college saving plans. Florida Prepaid was started in 1987 and is the largest, longest running and most successful prepaid program in the nation.
As I mentioned before, rates for Florida Prepaid are as low as they have ever been since 2007. If you put off purchasing a Florida Prepaid plan for your child OR, like me, went to purchase a plan for a subsequent child and found the rates to be too expensive, now is the time to reconsider.
What Prepaid options are available?
There are five Prepaid Plans including with varying options, specific costs, payment schedules and benefits. All plans include most fees at either one of Florida’s 28 colleges (formerly known as community colleges) or 12 State Universities.
Want to know what a Prepaid Plan price and payment options might look like for you? Visit the Prepaid Plan cost calculator.
I already purchased a Florida Prepaid plan so…
You may want to look at Florida Prepaid again! If you purchased a plan for your tween or teen before 2011, certain fees were not covered. Florida Prepaid is now offering individual plans for these customers. For more information, visit, the Add-A-Plan options on their site.
And, while you’re thinking about it you might want to add a 529 Savings Plan which can cover other qualified expenses like books, fees, housing and supplies.
What if my child receives a scholarship, decides to attend a private or out-of-state college?
They do NOT lose their savings. If a child gets a scholarship the amount can be refunded, transferred to another family member or used to pay tuition and fees not covered by the scholarship. A child has 10 years from his/her projected enrollment to use the Prepaid Plan. If it isn’t used, it can be transferred to another family member or a refund can be issued on what was paid in.
The cost of sending children to college is a huge one. If all three of my children get a 4 year degree, I will be paying for college for 12 consecutive years! That is a lot of money and a long period of time. Florida Prepaid would alleviate much of the cost and help us make sure that education will continue to be of utmost importance in our children’s lives.
In addition to purchasing a plan for our youngest daughter, we’ve started talking about purchasing additional plans. Start the conversation in your home. It just may be one of the best decisions you make for your child.