Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper


Open Enrollment Ending: Sign Up for FL College Savings Plans 

TALLAHASSEE, FL - Next week, on January 31st, is the deadline to enroll in Florida's Prepaid College Program savings plans. These plans allow parents to lock in today's tuition rates years in advance of their children going off to college and start saving for it.

Florida Prepaid College Plans

Florida's plan is one of seven nationwide that is backed by state dollars. Its chief executive officer, Duane Ottenstroer, says there's a plan for everyone.

"We also have an investment savings plan, which is a normal '529' plan, and that's open to people outside of Florida."

Since it began in 1988, about $1.3 million students' families have enrolled in the Florida program, making it the nation's largest pre-paid tuition savings plan. However, Ottenstroer says, only one in 10 Florida children is enrolled. Critics of this type of savings plan say it does not guarantee admission to a Florida school - or the quality of those schools.

The program competes with other tax-deferred college savings plans, Ottenstroer says, but those plans are based on investments that often face upheavals in the stock market. He says the Florida Pre-Paid College Program is a safer bet.

"Tuition cost today makes the program just extremely important to the normal family. We still have programs that, for as little as $100 a month, will pay a newborn - over 18 years - the tuition at any one of Florida state colleges."

Parents who want to sign up, he says, have only until Jan. 31 to get their applications in.

Comments  (to add a comment go here)

Meeting Calendar
No need to be confused - Find links to agendas and where your participation is welcome.

Make a comment • click here •
All comments are displayed at the end of the article and are moderated.