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Saturday is deadline for Florida Prepaid College Plan price hike

By Staff | Jan 29, 2009

There are less than two weeks left for families to purchase a Florida Prepaid College Plan at current plan prices. Enrolling children by the Saturday, Jan. 31 deadline is easy to do online at www.myfloridaprepaid.com

In the world of tax-free 529 college savings plans, prepaid tuition plans are increasingly popular, now that many investment-based 529s are experiencing the upheavals of the stock market, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. For 20 years, more than 881,000 children have been enrolled in the Florida Prepaid College Plan and more than 206,000 students have used their prepaid benefits in college. The Plan is financially guaranteed by the State of Florida.

Prepaid tuition can be purchased for children and grandchildren as soon as they’re born and up until they are in the 11th grade. Once a Florida Prepaid College Plan is purchased, payments do not increase. Prepaid plans covering dormitory housing, the tuition differential fee and local fees also are available. Current plan prices are available online at www.myfloridaprepaid.com/Affordability/Calculator.asp

“As grandparents, we certainly think it’s a great legacy to leave for your grandchildren,” said Jim and Renee Jardon of Orlando, who purchased prepaid tuition plans for four grandchildren. “We have been very happy with that decision because we all know that tuition is only going to go up over the years of their lives.”

Once children are ready for college, their choice of where to go is not limited under the Florida Prepaid College Plan. The Plan can be used at Florida’s 11 public universities, 28 community colleges (including the nine colleges offering baccalaureate degrees) and select technical schools. Or the plan’s full dollar value, what would be paid to a Florida public college, can be transferred to most accredited private and out-of-state colleges.

A $50 application fee is due by the Jan. 31 deadline. The first plan payment is not due until April 20. Families can call 1-800-552-GRAD (4723) to order an Enrollment Kit and paper application in English or Spanish and speak to a customer service representative.

Financially guaranteed by the State of Florida, pursuant to Sections 1009.98 (7) and (8), Florida Statutes, stating “the state shall agree to meet the obligations of the board to qualified beneficiaries if monies in the fund fail to offset the obligations of the board. The Legislature shall appropriate to the Florida Prepaid College Trust Fund the amount necessary to meet the obligations of the board to qualified beneficiaries.

In the event the state determines the prepaid program to be financially infeasible, the state may discontinue the program. Any qualified beneficiary who has been accepted by and is enrolled or is within five years of enrollment in an eligible independent college or university or state postsecondary institution shall be entitled to exercise the complete benefits for which he or she has contracted. All other contract holders shall receive a refund of the amount paid, and an additional amount in the nature of interest at a rate that corresponds, at a minimum, to the prevailing interest rates of savings accounts provided by banks and savings and loan associations.”

Source: Florida Prepaid College Plan