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Florida Pre-Paid College Plan: Annual Sign-up Begins Today

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Monday, October 19, 2009   

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Few things in life are guaranteed, but many Florida parents who want to be sure they can afford a college education for their children participate in the state's pre-paid college plan. The annual sign-up period starts today for the Florida Pre-Paid College Plan.

The plan is one of only seven nationwide backed by state dollars and one of two still in the black. It allows parents to lock in college tuition and other fees at this year's prices, explains Duane Ottenstroer, chairman of the board for the plan.

"In times of economic uncertainty and rising prices, the peace of mind for a family with the Florida Pre-Paid College Plan is more valuable than ever."

About 1.3 million students have enrolled in the program since it began in 1988, making it the nation's largest pre-paid program. Currently, one in 10 Florida children is enrolled. Critics say the plan does not guarantee admission to a Florida school or the quality of those schools.

As of August this year, the market value of the pre-paid trust fund was more than $8.7 billion. Ottenstroer points out that the program competes favorably with other tax-deferred college savings plans because those plans are based on investments that often face upheavals in the stock market. The Florida pre-paid plan is a safer bet, he says.

"College tuition in the state of Florida has increased at 6.5 percent a year over the past 20 years. You would have a plan that's willing to go another 18 years in the future and continue to protect against those sorts of tuition increases."

More information is available at www.myfloridaprepaid.com




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