A Prepaid College Finance Plan Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving
Why prepaid college tuition plans may be a good deal. One mom's story.
I was 23 when my first child was born. We married young and had children quickly and I have no regrets. There is no doubt about our lack of preparedness in some areas, though. For goodness sake, I didn’t even know how to change a diaper.
Still, it was a wonderful time — combined with a great deal of sleep deprivation. Plus, my parents were incredibly generous and gave us many gifts for our children.
Perhaps their most significant gift was a four-year Florida Prepaid college plan for both of my children.
Depending on whom you talk to, these plans are either the best or the worst thing that could ever happen.
It was an amazing gift for our children and I want to tell you why.
I am not a financial planner and I don’t have any kind of financial credentials. I’m just a mom who has worked hard to instill sound finance habits into her children.
That said, the prepaid college plan has been perfect for my children, even though they’ve taken different academic paths.
My son is an academic at heart. He rarely meets a textbook he doesn’t love. He also scores amazingly well on just about every test he has ever come across.
When he was 18, he graduated from high school with a four-year degree in communication and a 3.87 GPA. And no, I’m not quite sure how that happened considering the norm for our family!
At first, I thought the prepaid college plan was basically worthless to us. But then we discovered my son could apply it toward his MBA.
It left him with some out-of-pocket costs because of the higher fees for a graduate program, but it took care of a big chunk of his tuition.
My daughter, on the other hand, does not love school. And I’m not saying she hates it, but she does. She is a good student but continues to fight for the 4.0 she currently maintains as a freshman in college.
She doesn’t typically do well on exams. But she excels in class work. She turns in assignments early and takes advantage of every extra credit opportunity that comes her way.
She scored so poorly on the SAT that she did not qualify for the Bright Futures Scholarship here in Florida. And let me just take this opportunity to say my thanks to the state for making sure my kid knows that she doesn’t qualify for a bright future … ahem.
Because of Florida Prepaid, my daughter has zero out-of-pocket expenses for tuition.
Without any type of scholarship, she’s able to attend school without incurring debt. This is all thanks to my parents.
One of the many benefits of the Florida Prepaid plan is that it is backed by the state of Florida and you cannot lose your money. With a 529 savings plan, you can lose your money. This depends on the degree of risk you select according to www.floridaprepaid.com.
Another benefit is that the plan can be transferred to another eligible child or student.
I took a look at the financial statements today. My parents paid $5,652.42 for a four-year university plan for my son and $8,242.71 for my daughter in 1993 and 1996, respectively.
If you are considering how to finance your children’s education take a look at the prepaid plans available in your state. Be sure to consult a professional to help you determine what is best for your family.
The amount my parents paid was a one-time fee that covered everything. The program does have payment plans available. They simply guarantee the education when the fee is paid no matter what tuition costs when the child eventually attends school.
Thanks to my parents both of my children will graduate from college without student loan debt. It is an amazing gift that will make all the difference as they start their professional life.