Four 1-Year Florida University Plan winners announced at rivalry games, share college savings stories
The Florida Prepaid College Foundation this past weekend celebrated the launch of its new 1-Year Florida University Plan by giving four winners each a 1-Year Florida University Plan, along with tickets to the rivalry football games between four of the state’s largest universities.
Winners of the statewide Tickets & Scholarship giveaway were announced during the games between the University of South Florida and University of Central Florida on Friday, November 28; and the University of Florida and Florida State University on Saturday, November 29. The four winners each received a 1-Year Florida University Plan and two tickets to one of the two college football rivalry games.
The Florida Prepaid College Foundation Scholarship Winners are:
- Joshua Lee Solt, 15, son of Thomas and Melinda Cosenza of Lutz, FL
- Paige Anne Kovacik, 5, daughter of Tom and Anne Kovacik of Tallahassee, FL
- Laura Shreve, 10, daughter of Rodney and Candice Shreve of Tallahassee, FL
- Caidyn Wyss, 14 months, daughter of Brian and Amity Wyss of Naples, FL
Florida Prepaid got to be part of the big games, with an information kiosk at each event where families could get information about Plans and prices plus promo items including fridge magnets featuring their favorite team’s logo.
The giveaway helped raise awareness for Open Enrollment, the annual period from October 15 through February 28, when families can purchase Prepaid Plans. This Open Enrollment period marks the first time families can buy the new 1-Year Florida University Plan, starting as low as $43 a month, as well as significantly reduced prices for the most popular Florida Prepaid College Plans – the lowest since 2007.
For more information on Prepaid Plan options and prices, and to purchase a plan, visit www.myfloridaprepaid.com. Customer service hours are extended during Open Enrollment, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The winners all expressed deep gratitude for the scholarships, which in many cases is jump-starting their broader college savings plans through Florida Prepaid.
Meet the Winner Families
Joshua Lee Solt, 15, son of Thomas and Melinda Cosenza of Lutz, FL
Thomas Cosenza graduated from college with zero loan debt, and wanted the same for his stepson, Joshua.
“I came out with no debt and it was a huge advantage over people who graduated with me and had so much debt,” Thomas said. “I could buy a house sooner, and just had less to worry about.”
He said the 1-Year Florida University Plan scholarship for Joshua is a great opportunity and brings peace of mind to he and his wife Melinda, who have been setting aside monthly savings for Joshua’s college expenses on their own for several years. Joshua also has a 2+2 College Plan from his grandparents, so the scholarship can help toward graduate studies perhaps.
“This scholarship secures his future a little bit better,” Thomas said. “This is a great jumpstart.”
Paige Anne Kovacik, 5, daughter of Tom and Anne Kovacik of Tallahassee, FL
Anne Kovacik and her five siblings all had Florida Prepaid Plans to help them with their college tuition costs. In recent weeks, following the birth of their third child, she and her husband were starting to discuss the best Florida Prepaid options for their children, ages 7 weeks, 2 years old and 5.
The dry erase board in their kitchen bore the reminder: Florida Prepaid, Dec. 31 – the deadline to sign up for a new plan and have the $50 application fee waived. Then last week, her husband Tom urged her to help him enter the 1-Year Florida University Plan scholarship contest.
She could hardly believe it when they won the scholarship for Paige, a kindergartner.
“She doesn’t understand it now, but when she walks across that college stage it will be so important,” Anne said. “This is great for us because I have wanted to do this with Florida Prepaid and now it’s really our catalyst to do this for all three children.”
Laura Shreve, 10, daughter of Rodney and Candice Shreve of Tallahassee, FL
Laura is only 10, but her father says she is already focused on her career and the education she needs to achieve it.
“She wants to be an archaeologist and go to Florida State,” Rodney said. “I told her, ‘Well that’s a pretty good place to get your degree!’”
Now, the Shreves have a quarter of that tuition covered thanks to their 1-Year Florida University Plan scholarship.
“When you eliminate 25 percent of the tuition, it’s, in a word, amazing!” Rodney said. “It’s such a blessing. It still doesn’t seem real, but it is so wonderful. We’re excited and we’re very thankful for it.”
Caidyn Wyss, 14 months, daughter of Brian and Amity Wyss of Naples, FL
The night before Brian and Amity Wyss learned they had won a 1-Year Florida University Plan scholarship, the couple sat down and decided that while their finances don’t allow them to buy a 4-year Prepaid Plan for Caidyn, they would start by purchasing a single 1-Year Florida University Plan.
Then, as their incomes grew and other financial commitments were taken care of, they would add another 1-Year Florida University Plan, and so forth.
“We were working on starting that saving schedule,” Brian said.
Now, with the scholarship and the 1-Year Florida University Plan they plan to buy, half of Caidyn’s college tuition costs will be covered.
“We are super stoked,” he said. “It’s unbelievable.”