Enrollment period for Florida Prepaid College Plan continues
The annual enrollment period for the Florida Prepaid College Plan began in October and will continue with the same prices until Jan. 31, 2011.
Susan James, director of external affairs for the Florida Prepaid College Board, said that the Florida Prepaid College Plan offers families a tax free savings along with a piece of mind in knowing that their children will be prepared for college.
“The earlier families start saving, the more time their money has to grow. We recommend families lock in plan prices the year their child is born in order to meet their college savings goal,” James said. “However, a plan can be purchased for a beneficiary in 11th grade or below. So even if the child is older, families can still save with the Florida Prepaid College Plan.”
She explained that tuition and fees around the country have increased a significant amount each year, so those who are interested in the plans should sign up right now while their child is young.
“It is a fabulous program,” James said about her own experiencing as a prepaid student.
This year they are offering more packaged plans that include tuition.
The plan provides assistance in covering the cost of college tuition, fees and housing for students attending college. There are two ways families can save for their child’s college education — Florida Prepaid College Plan and the Florida College Investment Plan.
The Florida Prepaid College Plan provides families with the opportunity to prepay the cost of college tuition, dormitory housing and required fees at any of the 11 Florida state universities, along with the 28 Florida colleges.
The Investment Plan provides five options for families to choose from, which includes how much they wish to deposit and when. This plan can be used at any college throughout the United States for tuition, fees, housing, food, books, supplies and computers.
Additional options of the 4-Year Florida University Plan and the 2+2 Florida Plan are also offered.
“Florida’s 28 colleges are expanding to reflect a broader mission and many now offer work force-related bachelor’s degrees in areas such as teaching and nursing,” James said. “Reflecting this expansion and the demand for four-year degrees, we introduced a new plan.”
The 4-Year College Plan includes prepaid tuition, along with the majority of the fees for 120 semester hours at any of the 11 state universities in the state of Florida. James explained that this plan covers tuition, the majority of required fees and 60 upper and lower division credit at a Florida college.
The 2+2 Florida Plan helps a student achieve his or her 60 lower division semester hours, along with registration fees at a Florida college through the prepaid plan.
“This plan is an affordable option for a child to earn a bachelor’s degree and be competitive in the work force,” James said.
Supplementary plans are also being offered for families who have already purchased a tuition plan. Families can also participate in the 529 savings plan, which provides the opportunity for parents to put money into a tax free account until their child is in college and needs additional money for expenses.
More than 1.4 million Florida Prepaid College Plans have been purchased since 1988, which equates to one of every 10 children having a prepaid college plan. The Florida Prepaid College Trust Fund paid $82.1 million to Florida’s public universities and colleges for student enrollment during the fall semester of 2009.
She explained that about 85 percent of their customers sign up for the various plans online, due to their consumer friendly website that allows families to compare plans and view all of their options.
“Give us a call,” James said, so “we can talk through the plans with you, but don’t wait until the last minute to sign up. Lock in those costs.”
The plan pricing depends on the age and grade of the child and which plan the family chooses.
Those who wish to sign up for the program can do so by visiting www.myfloridaprepaid.com or by calling 1-800-552-4723.