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Florida Prepaid College Board open enrollment deadline nears

We know how difficult saving for college can be. At least Leslie Faccilonga of Cape Coral does. She pays $226 a month towards her student loans and she’s been doing it for quite some time. “I’ve been paying that amount for a very, very long time since 2005. it’s going to be a substantial amount of years until it is paid off,” she said.

Faccilonga and her husband don’t want that for their two kids so they set up prepaid accounts for both kids. They set aside about $50 per month for each child. “Our family can’t even go out to dinner for $50 a month, so it made sense to make that purchase for the children,” Faccilonga explained.

Every year The Florida Prepaid College Board has an Open Enrollment period. This year, it will be extended to May 31, 2020. That’s this Sunday! The $50 application fee has also been waived since COVID-19 has made the once difficult task of saving for college even harder.

“During this challenging situation, we know that many families will need additional time to make their college savings decisions,” said Board Chairman John D. Rood. “We hope that the Open Enrollment extension and deferred payments will give families the flexibility they need.”

The Board announced that, for the first time in its history, it would defer Prepaid Plan payment due dates for both current and new customers until July 2020 to provide a financial cushion to Florida families.

All Prepaid College Plans are guaranteed by the State of Florida, ensuring families can never lose their investment.  A Prepaid Plan allows families to lock in future college costs for less so their child’s college tuition is ready and waiting for them. Families simply pick a Prepaid Plan to fit their budget and savings goals. There are no worries about the ups and downs of the stock market or how much tuition might go up.

If a child attends an out-of-state college or private college, Florida Prepaid will pay the same amount as it would pay at a public college or university in Florida. The same goes for vocational schools. Every Prepaid Plan is guaranteed by the State of Florida, and a child has up to 10 years after high school graduation to use a Plan.

But what if the child decides not to go to college at all? “You can never predict the future and if your child decides not to go to college you can get all of your money back,” said Stephania Conti, Spokesperson for Florida Prepaid.

But the most important part is what the recipients won’t have when coming out of college…debt. “When they exit college and they don’t have that burden of that student loan debt, they’re able to start their lives loan-free, buy a car and buy a house and just give back to the economy in a greater way,” said Conti.

Families can use the online Prepaid Plan pricing tool to determine what the various plans cost based on a child’s age, as well as explore the different payment options available. Prepaid Plan prices start at $44 / month for a newborn – the lowest in five years.

Over the last 30 years, Florida Prepaid has helped about 1.2 million families save for college and more than 518,000 students have attended college using a Prepaid Plan – making it the largest and longest-running program of its kind in the nation.

For more information about deferred Prepaid Plan payments, visit myfloridaprepaid.com.

Author: Florida Prepaid College Board
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