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Getting Started

New Parents

When you have a kid, everyone says "it goes by so fast," and they're right. But when you're talking about college savings, time is on your side when you start early.

  • When can I start saving?
  • What is the best college savings option for a newborn?
  • How much should I save?
  • Does my child have to go to school in Florida?

  • You can start planning before your child is born and start a Florida 529 Savings Plan account for them as soon as they have a Social Security Number. You can actually purchase a Prepaid Plan before they’ve even got the SSN.
  • There’s no “best” option for everyone. It all depends on your budget and savings goals, but with prices at their lowest in five years and our NEW 1-Year Florida University Plan, we're sure there's a plan to fit your needs. Be sure to visit our What We Offer page to see which plan works best for your family.
  • The earlier you start saving, the more opportunity you have to spread your payments and lower the monthly contribution necessary to reach your savings goals. With Prepaid Plans you have a set payment based on your child’s age, while with a Florida 529 Savings Plan you can invest as little or as much as you want and change the amount to save for all or a portion of projected college costs.
  • Absolutely not. Prepaid Plans are guaranteed to cover costs at specific Florida Colleges and/or State Universities, but the value of either a 529 Savings Plan or a Prepaid Plan can be used at schools throughout the country.


You didn't have the financial ability. You weren't sure how to invest. Or, it just simply slipped your mind. No matter what the reason is why you haven't started saving for your child's college education, we have good news—there's still time to save.

  • I probably should have started long ago, so what’s the advantage of beginning now?
  • Which college savings plan is best for parents of older children?
  • How much of my child’s education should I save for?
  • Once I save, how do I use the benefits?

  • Don’t worry. Just because you didn’t start when your child was a newborn doesn’t mean you can’t benefit now, especially with Prepaid Plan prices at their lowest in five years.
    Even starting when your child is in Middle or High School gives you several years of potential earnings from your Florida 529 Savings Plan investments and several years to stretch out Florida Prepaid College Plan payments, making college easier to afford than waiting until your child enrolls.
  • That really depends on you and your financial situation. A Florida 529 Savings Plan offers the flexibility to save as much or as little as you like and, depending on how aggressive a portfolio you choose, the opportunity for substantial investment earnings as well. And, a Florida Prepaid College Plan offers the peace of mind that you have covered Tuition and most fees at a Florida College or State University for your child.
  • As much as you can. Either form of 529 Plan (Florida 529 Savings Plan or Florida Prepaid College Plan) offers tax-free earnings, an advantage you won’t get from your standard savings account. And our NEW 1-Year Florida University Plan makes it easy to save a year at a time, as you can afford it. So put away enough for one year, two years, three years or, if you can, your child’s entire college experience. The more you save, the more your child benefits.
  • It's simple. For a Florida 529 Savings Plan, just submit a withdrawal request for the appropriate amount to the Board. For a Prepaid Plan, just let the Florida College or State University your child attends know that he/she has a plan. The college or university will request funds from us and we'll pay them directly. Also, since the amount covered by the plan can also be applied to other school nationwide, if your child goes to school out-of-state, your funds are just a Transfer Form away.

Family & Friends

If you have a grandchild, nephew, cousin or close friend's child you're interested in helping save for college, good for you. Even if you can't contribute 100% of college costs for your friend or family member, every little bit helps.

  • How much will my contributions really help?
  • Can I open an account or purchase a college savings plan for a friend or family member?
  • How do I contribute to an existing account?
  • How will I know my contributions are used for education?

  • A lot! Every dollar invested today is a dollar they may not have to borrow later. Instead of buying a toy or clothes for the next holiday, why not really invest in their future by contributing to their college education?
    Our NEW 1-Year Florida University Plan makes that easier than ever. By allowing multiple purchasers, family and friends can team up to save for college one year at a time. Check out our What We Offer page for more information.
  • Certainly. You can open a Florida 529 Savings Plan account at any time, for anyone, at any age. Or you can purchase a Florida Prepaid College Plan as long as the child or their parent has been a Florida resident for the last 12 months.
  • All you need to make a contribution is the account number for the plan and a check or money order. Debit or credit cards cannot be used. Then mail in your contribution using the appropriate address from our Contact Us page.
  • All 529 Plans must be used for education expenses. If not, there are taxes and other federal penalties for withdrawing money for other purposes. Keep in mind, the owner of the plan has full control over the account, but each account is designated for a specific Beneficiary.


It's time for you to cash in your Florida 529 Savings Plan or Prepaid Plan and start your journey toward a degree. Great, but I’m sure you have a few questions on how to use your plan, right?

  • What if I get a scholarship, like say Bright Futures?
  • Can I use my plan for an out-of-state school or private in-state school?
  • Do I have to go to college right after I graduate high school?
  • How does the school I choose get paid?

  • Don’t worry, having a Prepaid Plan will not prevent you from receiving Bright Futures. In most cases, Bright Futures is applied to your college tuition costs first, then funds from your Prepaid Plan are applied. As always, you can use any remaining funds for other school costs, like books. You can also receive a refund equal to what would have been paid to the school.
  • Absolutely! The value of your plan is valid at any school nationwide. You can even use a 2 + 2 Plan all at a State University or Florida College. You aren’t limited to going to only the type of school your plan was designed for.
  • No, your plan benefits are good for 10 years after the projected year of enrollment included on your initial prepaid application.
  • If paying from a Florida 529 Savings Plan, submit a withdrawal request payable to the selected school.
    If paying from a Florida Prepaid College Plan, payment to a Florida College or State University is automatic as long as you let the school know you have a Prepaid Plan. Payment to a private Florida college or out-of-state school is done by simply completing the Transfer Form.

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