Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Parent to Parent: Florida Prepaid
Parents seem to worry about paying for their child's education from the day they are born. One option many parents are choosing is the Florida Prepaid tuition program locking in today's prices for a college education in the future. 7's Lynn Martinez has more about how the plan works in tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Tweleve-year-old Natalie Schuler does her homework every day after school. She looks forward to going to college someday and because her dad Paul did his homework her tuition has already been taken care of.
Paul Schuler, Dad: "It was fairly painless, paid over seven to eight years, at the end it's all done."
Paul has the Florida Prepaid College plan for Natalie and for his older daughter Geena who's now a freshman at UCF.
Paul Schuler: "It's an automatic credit for her, so I write no checks. She has to write no checks, it's just done, easy, simple."
There are different tuition plans which cover each of the college options. The four year university plan, the community college university plan, called the two plus two, and the two year community college plan. You can pay all at once or monthly.
Pamela Stephany, Florida Prepaid Board Member: "The tuition is about $40 a month if you're paying month by month. If you're going for the four year plan and a monthly payment it's about $110 a month and that's tuition only."
The cost varies depending on the age of the child when you lock it in, and keep in mind you can also choose a plan that covers housing and other fees, but the costs go up to $188 more per month. FIU sophomore Cyril Rolle says having a pre-paid plan takes the stress out of college.
Cyril Rolle, FIU Student: "You don't have to worry about certain things regarding outside of school, things like making money so you pay your student loans and stuff like that, and you don't have to worry about I'm going to be in debt 100 years after I leave college."
If your child doesn't use the plan you can transfer it to someone else or get the money back.
Pamela Stephany: "The program is guaranteed. It is the State of Florida Agency that guarantees the program."
With the cost of tuition rising faster than inflation, many parents are choosing to lock in today's prices.
Paul Schuler: "I don't see the price of education going down and I find it's a lot easier to pay a little bit over a long period. It's not that great a sacrifice."
For students starting college in Florida this year, the cost of a four year college degree with expenses will be $79,000. For those of you with newborns when they're ready to go college in 2028, a four year degree will cost an estimated $228,000. This year's open enrollment ends January 31st.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Florida Prepaid College Plans