This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.
Calling All Florida Families: Florida Prepaid’s 2017-2018 Open Enrollment is here! That means that now is the time to purchase a new Florida Prepaid College plan for your your future college students.
Open Enrollment began on October 15 and runs through February 28, 2018. Open Enrollment is the ONLY time of year that families are able to purchase a Prepaid College Plan. (A 529 Savings Plan account can be purchased at any time – more on that later.)
Our Florida Prepaid Story
My husband and I both graduated from Florida State universities.
I graduated from the University of Florida in 1996. I was 21 years old.
Vic graduated from the University of North Florida in 2008. We were married with one child and another on the way.
Vic & I are about the same age – so why the big gap between his graduation and mine? Well, it’s complicated. But the simplest explanation is that I had a Florida Prepaid College plan, and he didn’t.
Back in 1988, my parents learned about a brand new college savings plan. They took a chance and invested in a Florida Prepaid College Plan for me. Their investment paid off: just 4 years later when I enrolled at the University of Florida, my entire college tuition was already paid for. We still had to pay for my dorm, books, and living expenses – but tuition? Done.
When Vic graduated from high school, paying college tuition was simply not an option. He had several minimum wage jobs before landing an entry level position on a survey crew with the City of Jacksonville. And it was there that he discovered his love of math & engineering. He was a passionate learner and craved more knowledge than he could gain with on-the-job training. So he applied to Florida Community College Jacksonville (now Florida State College Jacksonville).
For the next 8½ years, Vic attended college while working full-time. After earning his Associates degree, he enrolled in the Civil Engineering program at the University of North Florida. And at age 29, he graduated at the top of his class.
Why We Purchased Florida Prepaid College Plans
When I became pregnant with our first daughter, we were a modest two-income family. That income became even more modest when I quit my full-time job to stay home with Sophia. Vic was still a couple of years away from earning his Bachelor’s degree. And even though I supplemented our income with some part-time contract work, we were on a tight budget. We had to make some tough financial decisions.
Still, one thing we never wavered on was the importance of purchasing a Florida Prepaid plan for Sophia. We wanted her to have options. And if we could make that happen with a little bit of sacrifice on our part, we were all in.
We also understood that when it came to purchasing her Prepaid plan, the sooner the better. Plans are available starting when children are just newborns – and the earlier you purchase the plan, the less your monthly payment will be.
What Types of Prepaid Plans are Available?
Florida Prepaid offers 5 different plans. Each includes tuition and other specified fees at 28 Florida Colleges or 12 State Universities. And even though each option is
designed to be used at a Florida College or State University, the amount covered by the plan can also be applied to other schools nationwide. The costs listed below are based on the child being a newborn at the time of enrollment. Costs for all ages/grades are posted on myfloridaprepaid.com.
2-Year Florida College Plan: The 2-Year Florida College Plan covers tuition and other specified fees for 60 lower division credit hours at a Florida College. This plan offers a student the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree or trade certification in any number of fields. It is also excellent springboard further education.
Cost: As of 10/15/17, the 2-Year Florida College Plan is available for a monthly payment of $55.42 or lump-sum payment of $8,767.54 for a newborn.
4-Year Florida College Plan: The 4-Year Florida College Plan covers tuition and other specified fees for 60 lower division credit hours and 60 upper division credit hours at a Florida College. This is the amount generally required to earn a bachelor’s degree. Most Florida Colleges now offer bachelor’s degree programs in industries like nursing and teaching. This is an especially great option for a child who wants to attend school close to home.
Cost: As of 10/15/17, the 4-Year Florida College Plan is available for a monthly payment of $119.61 or lump-sum payment of $18,924.02 for a newborn.
2 + 2 Florida Plan: The 2 + 2 Florida Plan covers tuition, the tuition differential fee, and other specified fees for 60 lower division credit hours at a Florida College and 60 credit hours at a State University. Your student can earn the same degree in the same amount of time as if they had completed all four years at a State University.
Cost: As of 10/15/17, the 2 + 2 Florida Plan is available for a monthly payment of $149.45 or lump-sum payment of $23,644.14 for a newborn.
1-Year Florida University Plan: The 1-Year Florida University Plan covers tuition, the tuition differential fee, and other specified fees at a State University for 30 credit hours (one quarter of the 120 credit hours typically needed to obtain a bachelor’s degree). This is the most affordable Prepaid Plan; it also allows extended
family members or friends to purchase a year or two as well, making saving for college a team effort.
Cost: As of 10/15/17, the 1-Year Florida University Plan is available for a monthly payment of $46.61 or lump-sum payment of $7,373.92 for a newborn.
4-Year Florida University Plan: The 4-Year Florida University Plan covers tuition, the tuition differential fee, and other specified fees at a State University for 120 credit hours – the amount generally required for a bachelor’s degree. The Florida University System covers the state and features two preeminent
universities, Florida State University and the University of Florida.
Cost: As of 10/15/17, the 4-Year Florida University Plan is available for a monthly payment of $186.28 or lump-sum payment of $29,472.26 for a newborn.
Florida Prepaid College Plans: Learn More
Have questions? You can learn more by visiting myfloridaprepaid.com or by calling 800.552.GRAD (4723) to speak with a customer service representative. And if you do decide to purchase a plan, use promo code RUNSIT1718 to save $25 on your application fee.