Summer is nearly upon us!

by jennifer31. January 2017 14:18

How is it already the end of the first full week of February? I just can't even wrap my brain around how quickly this school year has gone by.

What really hit home for me was that last week I registered the #TampaTrio for a week at a speciality summer camp of their choosing. They'll all attend a traditional summer camp, but each year we allow them to each pick one week away from home. Consistently the girls have always picked a week at Girl Scout Camp. But this year, this year is something new for them, and it really shows me that they are growing up and becoming their own unique little people with huge ideas and an eye towards the future.

I know I mentioned that my oldest daughter, 7th grade Haley qualified to take the ACT as part of the Duke TIP program. We received her scores last month and YES she scored high enough to attend one of the Duke Summer Programs. It's a 3 week residential program at Rollins College. She was most interested in the program From Wonderland to Hogwarts which is a creative writing program. But as we sat and discussed her options, she decided that she'd rather attend BAND CAMP!! Yes, band camp. After lots of research she (we) decided on the music program offered at Stetson University.

My sweet little flautist. She has really come into her own this year and I am so proud of her.

And my Ella girl, she decided that she wanted to go to my Alma Mater, Eckerd College and attend their Summer Science Splash program! 

 

Ella's choice of camp took me by surprise. I know she enjoys science, but to attend a week long science camp? I didn't think she had it in her. I thought for sure she'd be much more interested in attending a drama or modeling camp. I'm proud of her for stepping outside her comfort zone and giving something new a try. 

And we're still working on choosing the right camp for Ronin. Last year he did an ID Tech program and he LOVED it!! But it's the same program this year, and ugh. I don't think I can handle another summer of MINECRAFT!! So I'm the hunt for the perfect camp for Ronin.

So as I sit here and reflect upon how much academic and personal growth my trio have made, I can't help but shake my head in awe and disbelief. Are they perfect students? No. Do they often forget to turn in assignments or study for a test. Yes. But I really try to let them know that these are the years (middle school) where they can feel safe to "fall forward." Now is the time where I am trying to teach them about good study habits and work ethics. 

It's not going to be too long before they head off to college. I've talked about it many times on the blog, but I'm so happy we did the Florida Prepaid College Plan for all 3 kids. 

I have no idea what path in life they will travel, but I'm happy to know that I have provided them with the tools to get there.

There are so many benefits to starting a Florida PrePaid Plan. With the years flying by as quickly as they are, don't put off starting a Florida PrePaid Plan for your kids! 

Florida Pre-Paid Open Enrollment ends February 28.  Use Promo Code BLOG1617and save 50% off your application when you enroll. For more information, visit www.myfloridaprepaid.com

 

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#TampaTrio | Ella | Haley | Jenny | Ronin

Saving More for College with Florida Prepaid

by jennifer28. October 2016 13:21
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 ). 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 PlanAnd 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 Facebook, Twitter, 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.

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#TampaTrio | Ella | Haley | Ronin

Florida Prepaid Scholarship Giveaway

by jennifer29. September 2016 14:19
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!”

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Ella | Haley | Jenny

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