MetamorFit

Jenny Hodges. Tampa Librarian. Book Lover. Slow Runner. Mom to Irish Triplets. Living and Traveling in the Autism World.


28. October 2016 13:21
by jennifer
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Saving More for College with Florida Prepaid

28. October 2016 13:21 by jennifer | 0 Comments

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.

2. December 2015 12:30
by jennifer
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Give the Gift of Education

2. December 2015 12:30 by jennifer | 0 Comments

This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.   The Holiday season is quickly approaching!! If you are anything like me, than you are buying all your gifts online and will skip the madness of shopping in person. The #TampaTrio put together their Christmas Wish List. And I must say, I am pretty proud of what they put down. They were asked by their Nanny to each chose ONE item that would be a DREAM item, likely something that they would never receive. I'm not sure what Haley's dream item is, as all of the things on her list are totally within our reach. Ella chose a cruise, and Ronin chose an iPad. An "itoy" will never happen in our house because Daddy is a die-hard Microsoft addict. But what I did notice was that each of them chose at least one item that I would consider educational. Haley asked for books, Ella asked for checkers, and Ronin asked for gems/crystals. They will certainly get {nearly} all the items on their wish lists. But what they didn't ask for, and what Daddy and I got for each of them was the Gift of Education. We have paid off IN FULL all of their remaining balances on their Florida Prepaid College Fund!! We had 7 years left on Haley's, 8 years for Ella, and 9 years for Ronin, but we decided to pay them off early!! James and I had our trio when we were a bit older. By the time the kids head off to college, we will be nearing retirement age. We wanted to make sure that the kids had money for college AND we had money for retirement. There have been COUNTLESS times when a friend has said to me "wow, 3 in college at the same time, that's going to be hard on you." But with the Florida Prepaid College Plan it takes what seems like an IMPOSSIBLE task into one that is very POSSIBLE. And my family is proof of that.  We've taken a few college visits to my Alma Maters, and so far the Trio all say that they want to stay in Florida to go to college. Did you realize that EVERY Floridian lives within 50 miles of an post-secondary learning institution? I didn't. But this map clearly shows where all state schools are located! But if something happens, and the kids decide to go to school somewhere else, say North Carolina, OR we move out of Florida what would happen to their plans and our money?? If we move, the child remains eligible for in-state tuition and fees at a Florida College or State University when they use the plan. That is AWESOME!! And if we move, we can apply that money towards college in another state. You can check out all the plans HERE. There is a plan for every family, for every budget, so don't delay! Sign your kid(s) up today and give them the best gift of all....EDUCATION!  

2. October 2015 11:53
by jennifer
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Florida Prepaid College Plans #StartingisBelieving

2. October 2015 11:53 by jennifer | 0 Comments

Open enrollment for the Florida Prepaid College plans for 2015-2016 begin on October 15th, 2015. Start saving for your child’s education and future NOW. I am a proud Florida Prepaid College Plan Believer. All though this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. #StartingIsBelieving It's hard to believe that 6 years ago the #TampaTrio started school. Ronin was in PreK3, Ella in PreK4, and Haley in Kindergarten. Even though this was their first year in school, James and I had already started their college funds just a few short months after each of them were born, so they started elementary school with a Florida Prepaid College plan already in place.  Fast forward 6 years to the start of the 2015-2016 school year.  Ronin is now in 4th grade and wants to be an ER doctor, Ella is in 5th grade and wants to be a veterinarian, and Haley in 6th grade wants to be an archeologist. Thank goodness I enrolled them in the Florida Prepaid College Plan because all three of their career choices certainly require college, A LOT of college.   There are five Prepaid Plans, each with specific costs, payment schedules and benefits which all include tuition and most fees at either one of 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. So as much as I want my Trio to stay close to home (forever and ever) I know that it's likely that they might desire to spread their wings and head to college out of state. Thankfully the plans can be applied to schools outside the Sunshine State. There are only certain times during each year that you can enroll your child in the plans.  For 2015-2016, open enrollment is Oct. 15, 2015 – Feb. 29, 2016. The cost of the plans vary depending on how old your child is and which of the 5 plans you choose. For a NEWBORN these are the current MONTHLY rates: 4-Yr Florida University Plan $182.63 1-Yr Florida University Plan $45.69 2 + 2 Florida Plan $144.35 4 Yr College Plan $114.69 2 Yr College Plan $53.13   Once you enroll and get your account set up you can increase your monthly payment at ANY time simply by logging into your account and making a payment. It can be a one time payment or a recurring payment. This is a great option for grandparents that might be looking to help out. We did it for Ella when she was awarded some money earlier this year. It was so easy for me to go online and make a one time payment, and then the rest of our monthly payments will be the same as they were, we will just finish her payoff sooner, rather than later.    If you have ANY questions about the Florida Prepaid College Plans, feel free to ask me and I'll do my best to answer them! I feel somewhat like a pro since we've had accounts for 11+ years now  You can also reach out to their amazing customer service team at 1800552GRAD (4723) and they will answer any and all questions you may have. You can also check out Florida Prepaid College Plans online and figure out which plan is just right for your future college student!