This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.
How Important is it to be Trendy?
I was in a conversation online recently with a friend who mentioned the term “trend adjacent.” I am always interested in new terminology; this was no exception. A fashion world reference, explained in this blog with, “Designers looking to find their place in the market must know whether they intend to be on-trend, trend-adjacent, of off-trend altogether.”
It is tempting to want to be on-trend, for sure. It’s also tempting (I would think) for grandparents and others to want to help the children in their lives keep up with trends so they fit in with their peers.
Trends, however, come and go.
The value of a college education lasts forever.
It’s Trendy to Give Children the Security of an Education
The value of an education will, I promise, last longer than bell bottoms, jelly shoes or Farrah Fawcett hair.
What if My Kid Decides Another State is Trendier than Florida?
One misconception I have heard throughout my time as a Believer Blogger is that a child has to remain a Florida resident to retain the Florida Prepaid benefits.
If a Florida Prepaid beneficiary moves out of Florida after purchasing a Prepaid Plan, the child will still be billed at in-state tuition rates when using their plan at a Florida college or state university.
The “Resist Trendy” Clock is Winding Down!
Open enrollment for Florida Prepaid ends February 28, 2018.
Don’t be “last year’s style,” banished to the clearance rack of life planning. Invest in a child’s education today and you won’t ever have to worry about a poor fit or busted seam.
Learn more at a free webinar on Tuesday, February 20, from 12-12:45 p.m. ET. Register here. The Florida Prepaid team and Florida Prepaid advocate Cristy Clavijo-Kish will discuss how families have been using Florida Prepaid for over 25 years to send their children to college. In addition, a Florida mom who has Prepaid Plans for her twins will give you a firsthand perspective on how to get started and how saving early can make a difference in your child’s future success.
If you have questions, visit the program’s FAQ page.
If you’re ready to enroll, click here, then save 50% off your enrollment fee ($25 off of $50) by using my special code, GREEN1718.
Your kid is bound to look at least trend-adjacent (I’m betting even trendy!) in a t-shirt representing their university once they enroll under a Florida Prepaid plan. It’ll be a much more comfortable fit than crushing debt.
Philip was no run-of-the-mill tour guide. He was a captivating combination of farmer and philosopher, emphasizing life truths like, “when a crop fails it isn’t bad as long as we learn something from it [true].”
Philip: And then it makes for one incredible fertilizer.
Me (internally, as a mental light bulb goes off): AHHHHH.
Nurturing a Child’s Educational Options Takes Time
We all have high hopes for our children’s educational future when they are born.
Bringing these hopes to life involves planning on our part. That freshman year seems to arrive so rapidly, after we’ve barely put away the grade school mementoes and cheered for that final grade school ball game/band concert/art display.
Like the fish at Orchard Pond Organics, we have to invest …. and wait.
This is Where Florida Prepaid Comes In
Florida Prepaid offers two options to save money to make it possible for a child in your life to go to college, with the funds being tax-free as long as they are spent on qualified costs like tuition and fees: prepaid and savings.
There are five pre-paid plans, each with specific costs, payment schedules and benefits which all include tuition and other specified fees at 28 Florida Colleges and 12 State Universities. (To answer one common question: the funds can be used outside of Florida. My daughter is using her Florida Prepaid at Valdosta State University in Georgia.) Find answers to other common questions here.
Open Enrollment is October 15, 2017 through February 28, 2018
Open enrollment for Florida Prepaid opens today, October 15, 2017, and will last through February 28, 2018 (payments won’t be due until April 2018)!
I chatted with a few friends who shared concerns they have heard (or believe themselves) about Florida Prepaid. In case you have the same questions, here is my attempt to answer. (These answers pertain to Florida Prepaid vs 529 plans — I am happy to help you find answers to 529 questions too.)
What if my child gets a scholarship?
If your child receives a scholarship, you can get a refund for the same amount as the plan would pay a public college or university in Florida.
What if my child goes to school out of state? It’s so hard to predict what a 3-year-old (or whatever age) is going want when they are 18.
Plans are designed to be used at a Florida College or State University but the amount covered by the plan can also be applied at other schools nationwide or at private colleges and universities in Florida.
I respect Dave Ramsey immensely and if I had done 5% of what he suggests, my personal financial future would be much brighter right now. However, his suggestion that I invest “… the $10,000 in a growth stock mutual fund ESA where your money grows tax free” poses the flawed logic for me that I don’t have $10,000 to invest. I don’t know many other parents who do either.
There are Special Opportunities Happening Right Now!
A Chance to Win a Scholarship
From now until October 29, you can win a chance to be one of 10 recipients of a 2-Year Florida College Plan scholarship. You can enter daily. Here’s the link.
Also, you can save $25 off your $50 application fee by using code GREEN1718.
A Chance to Get Your Entire Contract Paid Off!
Anyone who purchases a Florida Prepaid College Plan between Oct. 15 and Nov. 30, 2017 will be automatically entered to “win the gift of college” from the Florida Prepaid College Board (FPCB), with the selected Plan purchaser’s entire Plan being paid off in full by FPCB. Also eligible will be pended Plan enrollments, which become active on October 15.
How Do I Get More Information?
I get it. There’s a lot to sort through and the choices can be confounding.
Here’s my advice: START SOMEWHERE.
Remember that saving early for college is proven to make a positive difference long-term.
Consider investing in at least a year.
The 1-year Florida University Plan is the only option that allows families to save for a child’s postsecondary education one year at a time, starting at less than $50 a month.
The 1-year plan also allows families to share in the cost of college, with different family members each saving toward one or more of the four years.
It’s a great time to sow seeds of security for your child’s educational future. Visit Florida Prepaid on the web or call 1.800.552.GRAD (4723).
This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.
I was sitting on my daughter, Tenley’s, bed last night chatting, when my eyes fell on this pillow which all the grandchildren in our family had been given for Christmas many years ago.
I mentioned how sentimental the pillow made me, since we had just spent the evening at a co-ed shower for my niece, Jessica, who is getting married next month. Between Jessica’s birth in 1989 and my daughter’s birth in 1996, five girls were born to my sisters-in-law Mary and Ann, and I had Tenley. The result was years of girl togetherness, baby dolls, gymnastics meets, dance recitals, fashion discoveries, makeup sessions, sparkles, and smiles. As I stood in various clumps of people last night, each of the girls talked about her 2016 life. They are now a pharmacist, two nurses, a nursing student, and two juniors in college. Each one is remarkable.
Planning Ahead Matters
What is remarkable for my family is that my parents had the foresight to look at the facts when I was still “in the weeds” of the day-to-day costs of having an infant and to purchase a Florida Prepaid College plan for Tenley when she was a newborn (they did the same for my son, Wayne, when he was born in 1999).
Enrollment Is Open!
The Florida Prepaid College Board has launched the 2016-17 Open Enrollment period. This is important: you can only enroll between now and February 28, 2017. After that, you will have to wait until the next enrollment period.
So Many Options!
One thing I love about Florida Prepaid plans is how they are responsive to the evolving needs of today’s families. There are more affordable options now than ever before, and more plan designs that reflect the education financing needs of today’s college-bound students. Here they are:
The 1-Year Florida University Plan (the newest offering)
With this 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 1-Year Florida University Plan also allows multiple purchasers to buy a plan for the same child (hello grandparents, aunts, uncles, and caring friends!). A child can have up to four 1-Year Florida University Plans.
The 2-Year Florida College Plan
This plan is perfect to set children up with a practical, affordable path to entering their chosen career with an associate’s degree or trade certification.
Every cent of the value of this plan can be applied at any university or college nationwide and is guaranteed by the state of Florida. Purchasers cannot lose the money they put in.
The 4-Year Florida College Plan
There are 28 Florida colleges (such as the one near my home town, Florida Gateway College, which I visited numerous times in my Union County high school career when it was still Lake City Community College) They’ve expanded their capabilities far beyond two-year programs. Most now offer four-year bachelor’s degree programs in growth industries like nursing and teaching, and continue to grow their degree programs year after year.
Since the 28 Florida colleges are typically less expensive than a university education, the 4-year college plan provides a practical, affordable path to a bachelor’s degree.
Every cent of the value of this plan is guaranteed by the state of Florida (this is true for Florida Prepaid plans).
The 2+2 Florida College Plan
By starting your child off at one of Florida’s 28 colleges, you’ll save money on lower-level courses before they transfer to a state university to finish off their degree.
Students with this plan are guaranteed admission to a state university once they’re earned their associate’s degree at a Florida college.
The 4-Year Florida University Plan
The plan starts your child off at one of Florida’s 12 state universities.
If your child decides to start at a college (typically less expensive), the unused funds from this plan can be applied to a post-secondary degree or you can get the remaining money back.
Like all Florida Prepaid plans, use isn’t restricted to Florida schools; the amount covered by your Prepaid Plan can be used at schools nationwide. (Tenley is using hers at Valdosta State University in Georgia, for example.) There are dormitory plan options also.
What Is The Investment?
Here’s some incredible news. The Florida Prepaid Board has worked extremely hard to keep prices near historic lows, and they have succeeded! That’s great for Florida families.
As you can see above, there are more plans than ever, and they are structured in a way that acknowledges the budgeting challenges families face. Plans start at less than $47 a month!
For less than $47 a month, a parent or other caring adult can demonstrate their belief in the future by starting a Florida Prepaid Plan. Look at all the potential of the kids in this video, and the hope shared by the adults who want their children’s dreams to soar:
Don’t Let the Application Fee Stand in Your Way!
If you’re like me, you can see the smaller details of life as bigger stumbling blocks than they are. Yes, there is an application fee of $50. But with this code, BLOG1617, you can save 50% off of that fee!
Remember the Scholarship Contest?
You read every word I publish, right? Just in case you’re in the minority who do not (wink wink) or you are a new reader, I wrote recently about the opportunity to win one of 10 2-Year Florida College Plans through the Florida Prepaid College Foundation!
There is less than one week left to enter to win! Here are the details:
When: Register between now and October 23
Where: Click here to enter (remember you can enter daily)
What You Can Win: In addition to registering to win one of the ten 2-year plans, when you click on the entry link, you can earn extra entries by answering questions, learning more about saving for college, and sharing on social media. There will also be chances to win a weekly prize.
Eligibility: Open to legal residents in the state of Florida with children or grandchildren between the ages of newborn through 8th grade.
About Florida Prepaid
As you think through your family’s options for 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).
Little Girls Grow Up
Yes, I got lost in the “overwhelm” of the responsibilities, logistical and financial, of having a newborn (but my parents saw longer term, fortunately). As you can see below, the little girls from the picture on the pillow grew up faster than their family can comprehend. Remember how quickly the time flies, and look into Florida Prepaid as an option for your child or a child you love during this open enrollment period.