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Last Days to Lock-in Sunshine State's College Savings

January 25, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Only a few days remain to lock in today's prices for tomorrow's college education.

Open enrollment ends next Monday, Jan. 31, for the Florida Prepaid College Plan. This year's plans can be used at one or a combination of Florida's 11 state universities and 28 colleges.

Duane Ottenstroer, who chairs the Florida Prepaid College Board, says buying a prepaid plan buys peace of mind and freedom from rising inflation in college tuition that has reached double digits in recent years.

"You're able to lock in, at this year's prices, tuition that you don't know what it's going to be, so you don't have to guess what you're going to earn on your investment and try to match that to the inflation in college tuition."

Ottenstroer says the prepaid plans start as low as $99 a month. He adds that anyone can purchase a plan for a Florida student. It can be used out of state, transferred to a family member or refunded.

State lawmakers are dealing with a large budget hole, so Ottenstroer notes that it's understandable if some people might be concerned about the security of a prepaid plan. He says it's a guaranteed safe investment for a student's future.

"The program has always been solvent. It has almost $10 billion in assets and is backed by the state of Florida. So you can be assured that the money will be there when it's time to pay for college tuition."

More than 700,000 Florida students have owned Florida prepaid college plans, Ottenstroer says, making the program the largest in the nation.

For more information call 1-800-552-GRAD (4723) or go to myfloridaprepaid.com.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - FL