National 529 Day Scholarship Giveaway!

This post and the scholarship giveaway are sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board. All thoughts are my own.

My children and I were involved as volunteers with the Florida State University Film School for several years. The first time we went to campus to watch one of the films be screened, I headed automatically to the on-campus theater I remembered going to when I was a student at Florida State (1982-86). Nothing was going on at the building I approached; clearly I was at the wrong place.

Scholarship Giveaway

A few frantic phone calls later, I was directed to the beautiful Student Life Cinema, which in its luxury, size and modern design made Moore Auditorium look like the dinosaur it was.

The Cost of Higher Education Changes

Like the move theater facilities at Florida State, many other things can change over a couple of decades. One of those things is the cost of a college education.

As National 529 Day approaches, this is the perfect time to think about opening a 529 plan for a child in your life.

(If you don’t have time to read everything I am about to share, click here to enter a contest to win a $529 scholarship deposited into a Florida 529 Savings Plan account!)

Still with me? Here is more info about 529 plans:

Education savings plans called “529 plans” are named after the IRS code that created them in 1996. They help families save for college costs. If you are wondering how they are different from prepaid tuition plans, here’s a breakdown.

Enter the Scholarship Giveaway!

What’s not to like about a $529 contribution into a 529 Scholarship Plan for a child you love? Ten people will win!

It’s simple to register to enter (you do have to be a Florida resident). After that, you can accumulate additional entries each day by participating in activities on the site, like creating a meme. Here’s one I created of my son and me:

Scholarship Giveaway

(Editor’s Note – 5/17/17 – now that my husband has pointed this out to me, I can’t unsee what he saw so …. just for the record …. my son is not shooting me a bird here — he is holding a medal he had been awarded at school. This is how rumors start, people!)

More details on the contest:

You can enter anytime between May 15 and June 11.

(Editor’s Note – 5/29/17 – The Starbucks giveaway is closed but the scholarship giveaway lasts until June 11 and FL Residents age 18 and over can enter daily!). 

Bonus: I will randomly choose a winner to receive a $10 Starbucks gift card from among everyone who registers for the giveaway and helps promote it between May 16 and May 20 via the Rafflecopter below. You could help a child you love get an education investment jump start AND get fully caffeinated. Yay!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Scholarship Giveaway

Florida Prepaid Plans: Enrollment is Open!

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.

College Financing

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!

College Financing

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!

College Financing

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.

College Financing

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.

College Financing

Tenley and my nieces, December 2015.