Published: Nov 24, 2010 9:52 PM EST
Updated: Nov 24, 2010 6:52 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla - Families looking to lock in the price of tuition for a loved one this holiday season have until the end of January to act.  It’s open enrollment in the Florida Prepaid College Plans, and the sooner you buy the more money you save.

The plans are backed by the state, so even if the investment pool goes bankrupt, the beneficiary can still go to college.

FSU Junior Aaron Greenfield is reaping the benefits of his dad’s forward thinking.  “It cut the whole tuition cost so I could pay for my books.”

Greenfield's dad began paying into a Florida Prepaid College Plan when Aaron was 12.  The family has saved thousands on Aaron’s education. “Really, without that money you don’t know where you are going to go and you could possible drop out because there is no money in your pocket.”

There are four plans.  Investors who bought last year had to purchase separate coverage for differential tuition.  New plans cover the extra cost.   

Florida Prepaid Spokeswoman Susan James says the earlier you start the more you save  “The earlier the better with a child.  You have the benefit of time in terms of saving for your child and when you lock into a plan you lock into a fixed cost for the lifetime of that plan.”

To begin investing you’ll need the beneficiary’s social security number.  If you’re not the parent, you’ll need the parent’s address and proof of residency.   There’s a 50 dollars application fee and an initial deposit of 250 dollars.

To sign up: