Saving More for College with Florida Prepaid

This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 Open enrollment for Florida Prepaid College Plans started October 15th and will continue through February 28th, 2017.

 The #TampaTrio all have Florida Prepaid accounts, I've discussed that many times on the blog. I've also discussed how the plan can be transferred if one of the kids decides to go to an out-of-state school or heck, maybe no college at all.

But recently I've begun thinking more about what we would do if one of the kids showed great academic promise our Florida Prepaid wasn't enough. And if she/he was able to get a scholarships/grants would that really be enough?

I would really like to be able to help my kids graduate from college debt free. Did you know that students who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2015 left school with an average of $28,100 in debt. That's a lot of money. I know it. I lived it. Had it not been for some wise financial decisions I would still probably be paying off my own student loans rather than being able to save for my kids. And I did have scholarships and grants. But it wasn't enough (though the fact that I earned multiple advanced degrees might have something to do with it too, but we won't go there Money Mouth).

As my oldest daughter is now nearly 1/2 way through her middle school years, and her academic talent is beginning to emerge. Last year in 6th grade she earned a perfect score on the ELA (English Language Arts) State Assessment Test. That score triggered Duke University to invite her to take the SAT or ACT as a 7th grader. No pressure. Just to see how she does. We chose the ACT over the SAT because I took the ACT back in the day. I scored a 32, cold. No test prep. One and done. 

 

But here's the thing. Students with the highest scores may be eligible to receive a scholarship to attend TIP’s Center for Summer Studies!! And by highest scores I mean the top 5 percent of academically talented students in their grade level. 

And just check out the courses they offer! 

If she qualifies and gets a scholarship, we can afford to pay the difference and send her. But that's a 2 week summer program. Not a 4-year degree. And she's not my only kid.

I also have Ronin who is showing a lot of skill with computer programming. He was able to spend a week this past summer living in a dorm on a college campus and coding coding coding. He had the time of his life. But again, a 1-week summer program. Not a 4-year degree. And I still have one more kid. 

 

Ella's first year in Middle School has been good. She's making friends, she's learning how to manage her time. And she tried out, and was awarded a part in the school play. She is dramatic, and funny, and wants to be an actress when she grows up. She's passionate and determined and when she sets her mind to something she is unstoppable. Perhaps this summer she will want to attend a unique theater camp. I can do that. But what if she wants to attend The Julliard School? Yearly tuition is currently $41,310. 

The #TampaTrio are curious little people. And curiosity makes learning more effective and enjoyable. 

 

I want to foster that little bit of weirdness that is inside each of them as they travel on their life path. 

How am I going to do that?

i want to open a Florida 529 Savings Plan.

From their site "The funds in your Florida 529 Savings Plan can be used for any qualified higher educational expense, including tuition, room & board, textbooks, graduate school and much more. This gives you extreme flexibility to use the funds as you see fit, for whatever your child may need. And should those needs change during his/her college years, you’re free to adjust as well."

A 529 Plan will help me to pay for all those summer academic excursions and (if needed) additional expenses not covered through their current Florida Prepaid plans.

Are you fully prepared? Are you ready to open plans for your kid(s)?? If you open an account no later than February 28, 2017, you can save 50% off the application fee!!  The promo code will save you $25.

 

 Promo Code: BLOG1617

Open Enrollment period (Oct. 15 through Feb. 28), is NOW and prices are low! 

in addition to the 529 plans there are other options available too!

 

  • 2-Year Florida College Plan
  • 4-Year Florida College Plan
  • 2+2 Florida College Plan
  • 4-Year Florida University Plan

And there is also a new plan available! The Florida Prepaid College 1-Year Florida University Plan. You can purchase one year, or 30 credit hours, at a time according to your budget and timeline, without feeling the pressure of having to buy all four years at once. The plan also allows multiple purchasers to buy a plan for the same child. So now you can team up with other family members to help pay for your child’s higher education. For example, let Grandma and Grandpa buy one year and you purchase another. A child can have up to four 1-Year Florida University Plans.

Learn more about Florida Prepaid College Plans in this video.

Follow Florida Prepaid College Plans on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube to stay up to date with information on not only the scholarship program and open enrollment but get tips on college and more.

Florida Prepaid Scholarship Giveaway

Do you believe that your child will go to college? Now is the time to invest in his or her future! Learn how you can win a FREE Florida Prepaid College Scholarship and worry less about your child's future. 
This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

As 2016 is quickly approaching its end (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN???) now is a great time to think about how you can prepare your child for college. With 3 kids (5th, 6th, 7th grades) paying for college is coming up for me sooner rather than later.  And with the cost of college rising every year, how can families prepare? I'll tell you how...by investing in the Florida Prepaid College Fund. As soon as each of our children was born, we opened an account for each of them. We chose the option to pay if off over the course of 18 years. But we've been very good with our money and this year we paid off ALL of the college plans, a full 6, 7, and 8 years AHEAD OF SCHEDULE!! 

 

My kids are smart. My kids are funny. My kids talk about wanting to go to college. But where will they GO GO GO?

It's exciting for me to think about where they will end up studying. Have you started to save for college?

Regardless, YOU can take a chance to WIN 2 YEARS OF FREE COLLEGE!!

 

Scholarship Giveaway! 
Would you like to be one of ten Florida families who will win 2 FREE years of college from the Florida Prepaid College Foundation. The giveaway runs from September 19, 2016- October 23, 2016. So go enter!!! And enter daily!

This coincides with National College Savings Month and the mid-October launch of Open Enrollment, the annual period when families can purchase their own Florida Prepaid Plans. You can enter the scholarship contest and learn about the benefits of saving early for college- from getting more motivated to prepare academically for college, to avoiding the burden of student loan debt.

Registration takes place at www.floridaprepaidscholarshipprogram.com.  You get chances to earn extra entries by answering questions, learning more about saving for college, and sharing on social media.

More and more families across Florida are looking into the Florida Prepaid College Plans. 

And saving early really is feasible, with a little planning and budget consideration. A family can purchase plans all at once, over five years, or in monthly installments.  

Open enrollment begins October 15th, 2016 and ends February 28, 2016. For more info visit www.myfloridaprepaid.com. But don't wait until October 15th.  Head over to www.floridaprepaidscholarshipprogram.com  and start learning about the program and enter for your chance to win!!!

Florida Prepaid Scholarship Program:
      What: Florida families have the opportunity to win one of TEN 2-Year Florida College Plans
      When: Register between September 19 and October 23
      Where: Go to www.floridaprepaidscholarshipprogram.com
      Eligibility: Open to legal residents in the state of Florida with children or grandchildren between the ages of newborn through 8th grade.
 
 
“Hear it straight from last year’s winner! Every entry counts for a possibility to be one of 10 to win a FREE 2-Year Florida College Plan, courtesy of the Florida Prepaid College Foundation. Enter daily through October 23!”

Yes, Florida Prepaid can be used at schools nationwide

I graduated from Florida colleges. My husband graduated from Florida colleges. But will my children? I don't have any idea. My kids are now nearly 10, 11, and 12 years old. College is still a few years away but thankfully we have already paid off their college educations.

My mom lives in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, and I have heard the #TampaTrio on more than one occasion say that they would love to move to North Carolina. In fact, my husband and I have also had conversations about moving somewhere with a little more diverse climate; North Carolina, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado top our list.

 

 

But what about our Florida Prepaid College Plans?


While Prepaid Plans are designed to be used at a Florida College or State University, the plans can also be applied at other schools nationwide. Public, private, in-state or out-of-state, they can use that money. And if you move out of state, but your child decides to come back to Florida to go to college, they will be billed at in-state tuition rates.

Yes, you read that right!! If you move or if your child falls in love with a school outside Florida, you can still use the funds that you put into Florida Prepaid College Plans.

You do NOT lose your money!!!

Every Florida Prepaid College Plan is fully guaranteed by the State of Florida, so you can never lose what you’ve paid in. Also, you can transfer your plan to another eligible family member or cancel your plan for a full refund of what you’ve paid in. It's a win/win situation. 

My trio are excelling in their classes. My oldest daughter is enrolled in all advanced classes at an International Baccalaureate middle school. Granted she is only in 6th grade, but she's starting good habits now that will continue to serve her well as she advances through her educational career. 

Regardless of where my trio end up going to college, I take pride and comfort in knowing that their educational expenses are covered under the Florida Prepaid College Plan. 

And don't forget.....Open Enrollment ENDS on February 29th, so you better hurry up if you want to lock in current rates!