This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.
Oh, Valentine’s Day. ALL the fun of candy, love in the air, and did I mention candy?
On the way to becoming the treats we all know, love, and share on Valentine’s Day, fave candies like Conversation Hearts undergo quite the interesting transformation before becoming sweet messengers.
In this slideshow, Necco explains the process of creating conversation hearts. It takes six steps. Similarly, the process of preparing to fund our children’s higher education costs takes more than one step. Let’s take a look at those steps as the deadline to enroll in a Florida Prepaid plan approaches.
Conversation Hearts, College Funding: Six Steps
Assembling Individual Ingredients
For conversation hearts, the manufacturer begins with sugar, color, corn syrup, cornstarch, flavors, and gums (maybe I just won’t think too hard about those gums!).
When our children are born, they have all the individual ingredients that will eventually serve them in college. Intellect, energy, motivation.
Creating The Blob
Looking at the second step in the conversation heart process, you would never know all that amorphous blobby mound is going to turn into something so adorable and tempting.
For me at least, there have been so many times as my son worked his way through grades K-12 that I wondered “is there hope of this kid making it to higher education?” It doesn’t bode well when games win out over homework 85% of the time.
In the third step, machines press the dough until it’s flat.
We need to be that pressing machine for our children’s futures: forcing ourselves to make a plan for their college education. This involves making hard choices, perhaps giving up some discretionary income that could lead to immediate family fun.
Cutting and Stamping
This must be where the fun begins. The dough is cut into hearts, and the messages are applied!
Those of us who care for children in Florida have an opportunity to shape them and share messages that will impact their futures.
The Drying Tunnel
After being cut and shaped, the conversation hearts remain in a drying tunnel for 30 minutes.
As I have written before, I am SO fortunate my parents bought my children Florida Prepaid plans when they were infants. A (relatively) modest expenditure almost 20 years ago has given my kids an opportunity to get college educations with the tuition paid for. Like the conversation hearts in the drying tunnel, the money had to sit there, doing nothing, in order to turn into something powerful later on.
Blending the Flavors
Once the hearts are pressed, cut, and dried, it’s time to combine all the colors for a spectrum of deliciousness.
I can’t say we are out of the woods yet with my high school senior, but the same kid who “forgot about history fair” for literally MONTHS between the start of school in August until the night before the due date in January early in his high school career *may* have found his groove and the realization that higher education can make a difference in his future. All those raw ingredients may indeed be coming together into a multi-dimensional kid with a plan (yay).
Finally, the conversation hearts are packaged into those iconic little boxes (among other packaging options) and transported to stores where they are sold and find their way into Valentine’s celebrations nationwide.
The thirteen years between the day we send our babies off to kindergarten and the day they cross that stage to accept their high school diplomas sure don’t seem that long. Before we know it, they are off to convey their own messages in their own way.
But About That College Funding
Yes, it’s fun to talk about turning a blob of sugar, cornstarch (and yes, gums) into conversation hearts … but my goal is to draw a parallel between that process and the process of getting our kids to college, especially how to pay to get our kids to college.
A Florida Prepaid College Plan is an ultra-affordable way to give your child (and yourself) the security of knowing a college education with no debt (or at least less debt) is in their future.
Open Enrollment Ends February 28!
The 2016-17 open enrollment period ends on February 28, so time is short to invest in a Florida Prepaid Plan.
Some reminders of why Florida Prepaid is such a great choice:
- Every Prepaid Plan is guaranteed by the State of Florida, so you will never lose your investment.
- Prepaid Plans work nationwide. Even if your child attends an out-of-state or private college, the plan will pay the same amount as it would pay at a public college or university in Florida. Our daughter uses her Florida Prepaid at Valdosta State University.
- If your child earns a scholarship, you have options regarding your plan. You can get a refund for the same amount as the plan would pay a public college or university in Florida.
- Plans are flexible time-wise. Your child has up to 10 years after his or her year of projected enrollment to use the plan.
Are you the kind of person who tells your loved one you’ll celebrate on the day after a holiday so you can get the goodies 50% off? Well, with prepaid, you have to enroll by February 28 but the good news is you can save the 50% off now! Use the code BLOG1617 and save 50% off the $50 application fee.
About Florida Prepaid
Visit the Florida Prepaid College Plan by clicking here for information. If you prefer to speak with someone by phone, please call 800-552-GRAD (4723).
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.
Laura @ www.almostemptynest.net says
We are in the throws of college admissions and budgeting right now with our high school senior. It is not the world’s most fun process!!! We don’t live in Florida, but the state’s college plan sounds great. We will have two in college next year and another going to college in 2019. Best wishes to your family through the process.
Paula Kiger (Big Green Pen) says
Thanks, Laura – same to you!