Exciting news, parents and grandparents: Florida Prepaid College open enrollment is here! Check out the details, what types of plans are offered, and how affordable they are. Most importantly, see why saving and starting a college savings plan for your children are worthwhile.
Thank you to Florida Prepaid College for sponsoring today's discussion. All opinions are my own.
Florida Prepaid College Open Enrollment Details
The Florida Prepaid College Board’s annual Open Enrollment period is Oct. 15, 2017 - Feb. 28, 2018. Open Enrollment is the only time of the year families can purchase a Florida Prepaid College Plan. During this time, families can select one of five Prepaid Plans, each with specific costs, payment schedules and benefits. Visit Florida Prepaid for all the details. Use this promo code: B41718
Different Types of Florida Prepaid Plans Available
There are five Prepaid Plans, each with specific costs, payment schedules and benefits which all include tuition and other specified fees at 28 Florida Colleges or 12 State Universities.* 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.
Florida Prepaid Plan Options Include:
- 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 child the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree or trade certification in any number of fields, and is an excellent springboard to a fulfilling career or further education.
- 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 – the amount generally required to earn a bachelor’s degree. Most Florida Colleges now offer bachelor’s degree programs in growth industries like nursing and teaching. With diverse course offerings and convenient locations, this offers tremendous flexibility and multiple degree options should a child wish to attend school close to home or anywhere throughout the state.
- 2 + 2 Florida Plan: The 2 + 2 Florida Plan covers tuition, 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, and will do so knowing both of you have saved money.
- 1-Year Florida University Plan:The 1-Year Florida University Plan covers tuition, 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. Our most affordable Prepaid Plan allows extended family members or friends to purchase a year or two as well, making saving for college a team effort.
- 4-Year Florida University Plan:The 4-Year Florida University Plan covers tuition, 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 blankets the state and features two preeminent niversities, Florida State University and the University of Florida.
Break Down of the Prepaid Plan Prices and Payment Options
Prices vary depending on plan type and the age of the beneficiary.
For added flexibility, families can select from any of the three payment options; monthly, 5-year or lump sum. The most popular of the three options is to make monthly payments, with more than two-thirds of families going with that option.
The Open Enrollment period beginning Oct. 15, 2017, and ending Feb. 28, 2018, is marked by continued low prices and the 1-Year Florida University Plan costing as little as $47 a month for a newborn. Below are breakdowns of the costs for Florida Prepaid’s various plans, 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: When Open Enrollment begins on Oct. 15, the 2-Year Florida College Plan will be available for a monthly payment of $55.42 or lump-sum payment of $8,767.54 for a newborn.
4-Year Florida College Plan: When Open Enrollment begins on Oct. 15, the 4-Year Florida College Plan will be available for a monthly payment of $119.61 or lump-sum payment of $18,924.02 for a newborn.
2+2 Florida Plan: When Open Enrollment begins on Oct. 15, the 2 + 2 Florida Plan will be available for a monthly payment of $149.45 or lump-sum payment of $23,644.14 for a newborn.
1-Year Florida University Plan: When Open Enrollment begins on Oct. 15, the 1-Year Florida University Plan will be available for a monthly payment of $46.61 or lump-sum payment of $7,373.92 for a newborn.
4-Year Florida University Plan: When Open Enrollment begins on Oct. 15, the 4-Year Florida University Plan will be available for a monthly payment of $186.28 or lump-sum payment of $29,472.26 for a newborn.
Families can open a 529 Savings Plan account at any time of the year. The Florida 529 Savings Plan is an investment plan, so you can choose how much and how often you contribute. There is no minimum contribution and you can change your contribution amount as often as you like.
Florida Prepaid's plan has been ranked among the best-performing college savings plans by SavingforCollege.com. They carefully select each of the investment management firms and constantly monitor their performance. The 529 Savings Plan has more than 60,000 active accounts with a market value of more than $525 million.
The #NewYear will be here soon. Add your child's education to your #2018goals. Save and plan now with Florida Prepaid's current open enrollment before it ends! Get all the info and use my promo code here: https://t.co/OwaqjePABh #ad pic.twitter.com/2HMCEjFGwd— Bernadyn Nettles (@BNadyn) December 9, 2017
The Biggest Difference Between Florida 529 Savings Plans and Prepaid PlansA Florida 529 Savings Plan is subject to fluctuations in the financial markets, while defined benefits covered by Prepaid Plans are guaranteed by the State of Florida. Families can visit myfloridaprepaid.com or call 800.552.GRAD (4723) to speak with a customer service representative.
Why Saving Now for College is Important
First, you'll avoid rising college costs. The guarantee of a Prepaid Plan allows you to avoid worrying about future college costs. Bloomberg estimates that since 1985 the cost of college has increased 538% – more than twice as fast as medical costs (286%) or gasoline (200%).
Second, you and your child will avoid or reduce debt. No matter what the future cost of college is, planning now allows families to help the children in their lives start their career after college with less, or no, debt. Student loans are now the number 2 source of debt in America as reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, behind only mortgages.
#StartingIsBelievingSaving now for college is super important and as parents, I believe it should be a priority to think of your child's future. It's never too early to start. I always like to remind fellow parents that you can't rely on scholarships and grants to pull your child through college and for the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and Godparents: contributing to a college savings plan makes a wonderful gift -- one that the child and parents will cherish forever!
Win 2 Free Years of CollegeIf you didn't know, Florida Prepaid is giving 10 families the chance to win 2 free years of a college scholarship. Hurry and enter by October 29, 2017.
Don't forget to pass along the valuable information in this article and share it with your friends who have kids!