Published On: Sun, Mar 6th, 2022

Getting into College is Only Half the Battle – Paying For College is Equally Difficult

By: Robert S Weinroth

College education is expensive. Whether you’re planning to start a career as a dental assistant and enroll in a dental assistant school or study at an Ivy League college to become a doctor or lawyer, you can expect to shell out a big chunk of your budget. Saving for college can be a daunting task. Even in the best of times (without the cloud of a pandemic hanging over your family’s financial wellbeing) squirreling away the funds required to minimize the need for student loans and financial aid can be placed on the “backburner” as more immediate financial obligations are addressed.

Truth be told, that period between birth and college comes much faster than you realize! The time between teething and touring college campuses can truly catch you off guard. This is why parents need to set up an online savings plan for their children at The Children’s ISA while their kids are still young.

What’s a parent to do if they didn’t save for college? Luckily, in Florida, there is a way to make saving much easier, “Florida Prepaid.” 

Prepaid Plans let you lock in the future tuition costs at today’s Plan prices, and Florida Prepaid handles the rest—guaranteed.

Also, while Prepaid Plans were designed for Florida schools, the value they pay to other schools (out-of-state, private, trade, etc.) is the same as what they will pay to a Florida school when your child attends college.

What does ‘guaranteed” men? If the actual cost of tuition and fees is less than your total plan cost, Florida Prepaid refunds the difference. If the actual cost of tuition and fees is higher than your total plan cost, Florida Prepaid covers the difference.

Benefits of Prepaid Plans:

·      Risk-Free: Guaranteed by the State of Florida, so you can never lose your investment.

·      Affordable: Buy one year of university at a time, two years of college or all four years at once, based on your budget.

·      Flexible: Use the value of your Prepaid Plan in-state or out, at public, private, trade and technical schools nationwide.

·      Worry Free: Cancel anytime for a full refund or transfer to another family member.

·      Compatible: Works great alongside scholarships and financial aid to help cover all the costs of college.

There are also online colleges for military veterans and active-duty personnel that offer different programs that can help make education more affordable.

Aiming to bring urgency to the importance of saving early for college, Florida Prepaid recently kicked off its annual Open Enrollment period by offering families who purchase a 529 Prepaid Plan by April 30, 2022 up to $500 in a 529 Savings Plan to be used toward additional college expenses.

Open Enrollment runs now through April 30, 2022 and is the annual window when families can lock in future tuition costs at today’s Plan prices. 

Plans start at $45 per month. 

To encourage Florida families to get started saving for college, Florida Prepaid has announced they will invest in their college savings journey along with them. 

For each year of college or university Prepaid Plan purchased this Open Enrollment, Florida Prepaid will put $125 into a Florida 529 Savings Plan, up to $500.

Prepaid Plans allow families to save for college in a risk-free, stress-free way, locking in future college costs for less so their child’s college tuition is ready and waiting for them. 

Families simply pick a Prepaid Plan and make their payments. There are no worries about the ups and downs of the stock market or how much tuition might go up. 

All Prepaid Plans are guaranteed by the State of Florida so families can never lose their investment. If a child attends an out-of-state or private college, a Prepaid Plan will pay the same amount as it would pay at a public college or university in Florida, allowing the child to pursue their dreams no matter where that might take them.

This year, families can purchase a 4-Year Florida University Plan for a newborn for as low as $181 a month, a 2+2 Florida Plan for $145 a month, a 2-Year Florida College Plan for $54 a month or a 4-Year Florida College Plan for less than $116 a month.

The Board also offers a 1-Year Florida University Plan, which starts as low as $45 per month and covers 30 university credit hours. 

Multiple family members can purchase a 1-Year Florida University Plan for the same child, sharing in the cost of saving for college.

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. 

Visit myfloridaprepaid.com to learn more about these programs. Don’t wait until your child is in middle or high school and realize the cost of tuition will create a significant strain on your family’s financial resources. 

And if your child receives a scholarship you can use the Prepaid Plan to cover other college costs like grad school. Or get a refund for what Florida Prepaid would have paid out on your plan and use that for housing, supplies, etc.

Anyone can purchase a Prepaid Plan (parent, grandparent, aunt, etc.), however the child must be a Florida resident. Proof of residency will be required during enrollment.

About the Author

- Robert Weinroth is a 27 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman, former member of the City Council (where he served for four years) and currently serves as an elected member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States. Weinroth served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services Inc, an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. After serving on multiple community boards and committees, Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council in 2014. During his tenure, he served as CRA Vice-chair and Deputy Mayor and was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities. Commissioner Weinroth serves as County Vice-Mayor and has been appointed Chair of the Solid Waste Authority, a board member of the PBC Transportation Planning Agency, and alternate representative on the Treasure Coast Planning Agency and several other county and regional boards. Robert, Pamela and their two dogs, Sierra and Siggy, are proud to call Boca Raton home.

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