Thank you Florida Prepaid College Plans for sponsoring today’s post. As always, all opinions are my own.
Before we even had our first born, Ryder, I knew I wanted to save for his college early on. Since we live in Florida this is made possible thanks to The Florida Prepaid College Plan. Both Jon and I went to college, and neither of us had scholarships. Thankfully, my parents helped pay for my first two years of community college (tapping into their retirement fund which I do not recommend). Jon on the other hand took out student loans from day one. I must preface–our parents never thought about saving for our college. It wasn’t something they did nor did they think we would do.
We both did not have a traditional college experience. We both worked during the day (or sometimes at night depending on our work schedules) and went to school opposite our work schedules. We also both lived at home. I so wish I would have had a traditional college experience. But with paying for everything myself I knew I couldn’t afford the traditional experience. Then again who knows if I would be where I am today with that traditional college experience. Jon graduated with over $35,000.00 in student loan debt and I graduated with just shy of $15,000.00. Thankfully, we both paid our student loans off in the past 2 years (thanks to Jon taking over the ownership of his construction company). Had we not had the money to pay off our loans we would still be paying until 2025! Let’s not even talk about the interest accrued making it almost half if not more the amount we took out many years ago.
I’ll be brutally honest that we’ve been a house divided on this topic for a while. Because of my past college experience I knew that I wanted to set my kids up for a better college experience. However, Jon feels that they should have to work hard and pay for their own college. We’ve talked with quite a few friends who either had The Florida Prepaid College Plan or had scholarships or both! Our one friend told us that she never even knew she had college paid for until she got in and was into her first semester. That’s what I told Jon we could do with our kids. I don’t want them to have the expectation that college is free and not have ownership. I found a lot of friends who had scholarships or college paid for did not give it their all because they took for granted they didn’t have to pay for college.
Another concern Jon has had is “what if our kids don’t want to go to college”. In my book, that is not even an option. Our kids WILL go to college. A two year degree at the very least. College is very important to me and I’m passionate about higher and continuing education. In my opinion, it sets you up for so many life skills. I don’t know if I would have received the life skills had I not went to college. The biggest life skill being commitment and perseverance among the few I can think of off the top of my head.
Now that you know a little bit of our college background and thoughts I want to share all about The Florida Prepaid College Plan. If you live in the state of Florida and have a young child I hope you’ll take advantage of multiple ways to save for your child’s future education. Florida Prepaid is the longest-running prepaid program in the nation! Some states have either ended programs or stopped accepting new participants–and that’s not the case with Florida Prepaid. In fact, they just celebrated their 30th anniversary last September!
More than 2 million families have purchased Florida Prepaid College Plans since 1988, with more than 460,000 students attending college using Prepaid Plan benefits. Florida Prepaid’s goal is to allow affordable higher education access.
When is Florida Prepaid Open Enrollment?
In the past, open enrollment was open from October to February. But the open enrollment period has officially changed allowing families to recover from the holidays, prepare taxes, and work on future savings! Future savings, like their kids college savings accounts!
Their is a $50 application fee when families sign up for a Florida Prepaid plan. When you sign up with my code KATIE19 you will receive $30 off that fee!
How much does it cost?
Florida Prepaid has five different plans for you to choose from. You can find all the Florida Prepaid pricing and plans here. They have plans to fit everyone’s budget. You can see which one works best for you and your family.
Why save for your child’s college?
According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, graduates with bachelor’s degrees nationwide earn on average 65% more per year than those without a bachelor’s degree!
Georgetown University projects that by NEXT year, 65% of jobs will require post-secondary education.
Last year, in 2018, the unemployment rate for bachelor’s degree holders was nearly half of those with only a high school diploma (2.1% vs. 3.9%), according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics
Help your child avoid student loan debt
On average, students in Florida with debt leave college with more than $24,000 in student loans. Umm hello, that’s what my husband graduated with and that was err… 10+ years ago!
To my surprise, I learned that Florida’s student loan debt rate is higher than anywhere else in the country, according to estimates from the credit rating agency Experian. Student loan debt in Florida jumped 35 percent to $89.4 billion between the third quarter of 2015 and the same period in 2018.
As of 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported outstanding student loan debt had increased to more than $1.4 trillion.
If your a Florida resident and have younger kids I hope that I was able to share some valuable information that could help shape their future. After all, we can only do so much as parents and saving for college is just one more thing that we can help with. Now that you know all about The Florida Prepaid College Plan I hope you’ll think more about investing in your child’s future.