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Everything You Should Know About Florida Prepaid College
Florida Prepaid College Plans and Why You Want It For Your Kids
New to the idea of Florida pre-paid college for your kids and want to know what all the hype is about? Here’s why a Florida pre-paid college is probably something you want to look into If you’re planning on sending your children to college in the future:
What is it: It’s basically a plan that locks in the price of a 4-year college degree (based on today’s costs) at a public State University or College in the State of Florida. The price you’re quoted now for 4 years of tuition is fixed (aka guaranteed) and will likely be much less than the cost of college tuition when your young child graduates from high school in the future (costs of tuition historically go up every year).
How does it work: When you sign up for the plan, you get a quote for a 4-year college education at any of the applicable Florida colleges and universities included in the plan (most public colleges and universities in Florida are included). You make fixed monthly payments (or pay a lump sum now) towards that cost. For example, let’s say that today it costs $50,000 at a Florida State University for 4 years of tuition. If your child is 5 years old, the $50,000 cost would be spread out over 13 years of monthly payments. This is a savings because the cost of a 4-year degree could be dramatically higher by the time your child graduates from high school. Regardless, your cost will still only be $50k, as the plan LOCKS IN your rate based on today’s quote. That’s the biggest benefit.
The monthly payments will be based on the amount of time you have left to pay off the amount quoted before your child graduates from high school. So the younger you sign up your kids, the lower your monthly payment, because you have more years to spread the cost over. For example, the monthly payment for signing up a 10 year old child today would be much more than the payment for signing up your 1-year old.
How to start: Pick a plan on myfloridaprepaid.com and start making the payments. It’s simple. You can even set up an auto-draft payment that comes out of your bank account each month to make it even simpler. You don’t worry about price increases in tuition in the future and you know that your child will have their tuition covered.
Additionally, there are several different options you can select for your plan, based on what you can afford. Here’s an example of pricing as of Dec 2019 for a child born on Jan 1st, 2014:
Other benefits of a Florida Pre-Paid College Plan that you should consider:
If your child gets a scholarship, you can use the funds towards other costs, like grad school, dormitory costs, or other supplies needed instead.
Florida residency for the past 12 months is required to buy a plan, but if you ever move out of state, the good news is that your child can come back to Florida and STILL get the fixed plan pricing you signed up for at a Florida college or university! So basically, your plan continues as if you had never left AND your child will be considered an “in-state” resident for tuition purposes as soon as they return.
The fees you pay into the plan are refundable to you at any time during the plan period if something changes.
The plan can be transferred to another child if the original child decides not to go to college. The only catch is that the other child must be a Florida resident and use the plan in the original 10 year period it allows (your children have 10 years from the maturity date of the plan to use it).
You can add a dormitory plan to your Pre-paid plan. Want to really get prepared, this might also be something to consider to control future housing costs for your child’s college career.
If your child decides to go to an out-of-state or private college/university, the plan funds you’ve paid into the plan can be used at any other institution; you just won’t get the fixed cost benefit (but you can still use what you’ve saved/paid into that plan).
For more facts about the Florida Pre-Paid College Plans, CLICK HERE.
Andrea is the Managing Partner of The Sandy Hartmann Group. Andrea was born and raised in the Tampa Bay area and is a licensed Realtor with over 15 years of Marketing and Finance experience, holding ....
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