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

Jonathan Auxier at the ALA Annual Conference 2016 #ALAAC16

by jennifer8. August 2016 10:33
I had a fantastic time at the ALA Annual Conference held in Orlando June 22-28. I attended on Friday June 24th and Saturday June 25th. My agenda was packed full of roundtable discussions, informative presentations, and of course, the exhibit hall. This year I broke from my tradition of going to conferences alone and brought along my two oldest children. Both avid readers, and lovers of the library, I wanted them to be able to experience some of the joy and wonder that I experienced when I was their age and my parents would take my sister and me to the International Pizza Expo. I loved wandering through the large exhibit hall as a young girl, sampling all sorts of wonderful pizza. I imagined the same experience for my daughter’s but with books and tech instead of pizza. I was right. They were both in utter and total awe. My girls loved ALA. The highlight for both of them was the chance to meet one of their favorite authors, Jonathan Auxier. Jonathan is the author of the 2015-2016 SSYRA book The Night Gardner, but my daughters love him for his debut novel, Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes. Haley admittedly is his biggest fan, and when I noticed she wrote him a note on an exhibit hall table I quickly snapped a photo, tweeted it to him, and received a reply with an invitation to stop by for his meet and greet. #Number1Fan   We may have been the first in line J Not only did Haley and Ella each receive a brand new hardback copy of his newest release (the sequel to Peter Nimble) Sophie Quire and the Last StoryGuard (and not an ARC, either!) but Jonathan drew a personalized photo for each of them in the front of the book and posed for a photo with them individually, too. Jonathan told us two things: 1)   He only poses for photos with people who will act like monsters. 2)   His personalized drawings will be gory. He asked Haley what her favorite animal is, real or mythological. She told him a unicorn. He drew a photo inside her book of her being impaled on a unicorn’s horn. He drew blood drops and everything.  He asked Ella what her favorite animal was in the Peter Nimble book and she told him the sea serpent. He drew Ella hanging out of the mouth of the sea serpent.   Jonathan spent close to 10 minutes with us and it was an experience that I am sure Haley and Ella will never forget, and I will always remember hearing the girls say “this was the best day EVER.”    

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Ella | Haley | Jenny

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