© 2023 | WUWF Public Media
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514
850 474-2787
NPR for Florida's Great Northwest
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Florida Pre-Paid College Open Enrollment Ends Soon

The open enrollment window for the Florida Pre-Paid College Program is closing on February 28. Parents or guardians who wish to enroll children in the college savings plan after that will have to wait until the next open enrollment session begins in October.

The Florida Pre-Paid Plan is different from the 529 savings plans you’ve heard about recently. While most states offer  some form of a 529 college savings plan, Florida is one of only a handful of state that offer a pre-paid option. The 529 Savings Plans are just that, a tax exempt savings plan that can be used to help pay all expenses of a college education.  The Pre-Paid Plan locks in the cost of college, dorm and local fees and sets up a payment plan. once the plan is paid, depending on the plan purchased, university or state college tuition, local fees and/or dormitory costs are paid up.

And the Pre-Paid Plan just got a lot more affordable. Shannon Colavecchio, a spokesperson for the program says the price of a four year university plan has dropped from $350 a month for a new born to $173 a month.

The price of the plans started to rise after the 2007 legislation that allowed universities in the state to charge a Tuition Differential Fee. At first that was limited to 6 percent and only to the University of Florida and Florida State. That soon changed to 15 percent at all state universities. The repeal of that fee allowed prices to drop not just for new enrollees, but for current plan holders as well, who either got refunds or had their payments reduced.

Colavecchio also says that with the lower prices, the number of plans sold during this enrollment period has skyrocketed. So far there have been over 32,000 plans sold compared to about 15,000 last year.

To enroll the future student must be a Florida resident, or be under one year of age and have a Florida birth certificate. Once a student graduates high school, they have ten years to use the benefits…but that time period can be extended for military service. You can enroll on line at my Florida prepaid dot com.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.