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Florida Pre-Paid College 2016 Open Enrollment Ending

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If you plan on saving for a loved one’s college education, time is running out to get started. The Florida Pre Paid College Program is winding down their current open enrollment period. Shannon Colavecchio is a spokesperson for Florida Pre Paid. She says the plan is a good way for a family to save for a child's education. "It allows you to (lock it tuition costs) at today's rate. And then you can start paying, most people do monthly, toward that ultimate tuition cost."

You can start a Florida Pre Paid account here.

While most states have some form of tax deferred way to save for college called 529 plans, Florida is one of only seven states that have active pre-paid plans that are accepting new enrollees. "For example, if you have a newborn right now, they could sign up for a two year college plan, and it's 53 dollars a month."

In addition to the two year state college plan, Florida Pre paid offers plans for 4 years of college, a 2 plus 2 plan for college students who then transfer to state universities and a four year university plan. They also have a new option. "Last year be debuted our new one year university plan. That one is pretty significant because it allows Families to actually share in the cost of a single beneficiary's education." The one year plan covers 30 credit hours, which is equivalent to one year at a Florida university, and costs 46 dollars a month for a newborn. The idea is that, for example, parents could buy one year while grandparents or other family members could also buy a year, sharing the cost of up to four years of university.

Shannon Colavecchio says plans can be paid for monthly or all at once in a lump sum. There is also a five year payment plan. The goal is to make Florida Colleges and universities affordable to as many students as possible. The value of the plans can also be used for students who attend college or university out of state. 

The deadline to apply for a Florida Pre Paid College plan is Monday, February 29. 

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.