A long time ago, when I was in middle school, my parents made the life-changing decision to gift my little sister and I a Florida 4-Year College Plan. Being fiscally-minded, my parents wanted to send both my sister and me to college as economically as possible, and Florida Prepaid was the perfect option. Giving us a gift of a college education and being able to graduate from college debt-free was the biggest blessing. They knew that their decision would not only help our own financial situation to have a great start, but it also kept them feeling at ease that we didn’t have to worry about anything except for being students and going to college.
Choosing Florida Prepaid as the method for planning to save for our children’s education came naturally for us! As a beneficiary of a Florida Prepaid Plan, I know firsthand what an amazing gift my parents gave my little sister and me so many years ago. After we got married and had our firstborn (my now 5-year-old daughter), my husband and I decided to enroll her in the Florida Prepaid 4-Year College Plan for the same reason.
For us, it is of the utmost importance to give our children the gift of a college education. Since my husband was in the military, he was very fortunate to have help to pay for his undergraduate education. But, unfortunately, when he pursued further education he had to finance his education in order to obtain his MBA.
I also remember when my daughter was born, we were knee-deep in the newborn stage and totally missed the open enrollment period that year. So being a mom with a plan, I noted the open enrollment on my phone calendar for the following year. Just two years later when our son was born, you better believe that we successfully did not miss enrolling him. Best to start looking at saving for college as early as possible as the days are long but the years are short!
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” –Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin’s quote can be applicable to many areas of our lives based on the choice we make — but not planning ahead will cost you more than you think. Here are a few tips for getting started with your Florida Prepaid Plan, including a few myth-busters!
Myth: “You can’t use your Florida Prepaid Plan outside of Florida.”
When thinking of a Florida College Prepaid Plan, it’s easy to think, ‘Well, what if we move?’ or ‘What if my child doesn’t want to go to a Florida school?’ Florida Prepaid leaves you with peace of mind, as even if your child attends an out-of-state college or private college, the plan will pay the same amount as it would pay at a public college or university in Florida. In fact, the plans can be used nationwide! Even if you move out of Florida, your Florida Prepaid Plan goes with you, and if you end up returning back to Florida, the plan qualifies your child for in-state tuition, even after you move away.
Myth: “Scholarships don’t work with Florida Prepaid Plans.”
As parents, we hope our kids would qualify for some scholarships to help pay for college-related expenses. What is great about Florida Prepaid Plans is they actually can work together with scholarships to cover the cost of higher education. In the event of receiving a scholarship, you can use the Florida Prepaid Plan to help pay for grad school and easily get a refund for what would have been paid out on your plan and use that for housing, supplies, and books.
Myth: “You are locking in today’s tuition.”
With a Florida Prepaid Plan, you are not locking in today’s tuition rates for tomorrow’s use, but instead, Florida Prepaid has a team of financial experts who are predicting what tomorrow’s tuition will be and what must be paid today. Once you select your payment option, the amount will never go up — you lock in your Florida Prepaid Plan price.
Myth: “I have to go to college right after I graduate to use my Prepaid Plan.”
With the unpredictability of life, your child may decide not to go to college right after graduation, and that is okay with Florida Prepaid. A Florida Prepaid Plan locks in coverage for a full 10 years after your child’s projected high school graduation/college enrollment year.
We also love the fact that even if they even up not needing their Florida Prepaid college funds, my husband and I can get full refunds from the Florida Prepaid program.
Make planning for college a priority today as having a plan to start saving for college as early as possible will save you in the future. The days of parenting sure are long, but the years are short — don’t delay and enroll in a Florida Prepaid Plan today.
Open Enrollment is Happening Now!
Open Enrollment for Florida Prepaid is happening now — find a plan that’s right for you and your family. Use code JAX2021 to save 50% on your application fee and tell them Jacksonville Mom helped your family learn how to prepare for the future with Florida Prepaid!