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Florida Prepaid College Plans vs. Florida 529 Savings Plan





QUESTIONS

Florida Prepaid College Plan

Florida 529 Savings Plan

Below are a few questions that will help you compare our Florida 529 Savings Plan to our Florida Prepaid College Plans.

Prepay the future cost of tuition and other specified fees.

Save at your own pace for college, and choose your investment options.

Eligibility

When can I enroll?

October 15 - February 28

Anytime.

At what age/grade can I enroll the child?

Newborn through 11th grade.

Any age or grade.

Do I have to be a Florida resident?

The child or his/her parent or legal guardian must have been a Florida resident for the past 12 months.

No.

Coverage

What does the plan cover?

Tuition and other specified fees at a Florida College or State University. This amount can also be applied to other schools nationwide.

Any qualified educational expenses, including tuition, local fees, health fees, athletic fees, lab fees, housing, transportation and special needs.

Can the plan be used for room and board?

No, but a University Dormitory Plan may also be purchased.

Funds may be used for room and board if they are qualified higher education expenses.

Flexibility

Where can I use the plan benefits?

Plans are designed to be used at a Florida College or State University but the amount covered by the plan can also be applied at other schools nationwide or at private colleges and universities in Florida.

Nationwide.

What if the child receives a scholarship (e.g., Bright Futures)?

If your child receives a scholarship, you can get a refund for the same amount as the plan would pay  a public college or university in Florida.

Savings can be used to make up any difference in qualified higher-education expenses not covered by the scholarship.

What happens if the child moves out of Florida?

Nothing – the child remains eligible for in-state tuition and fees at a Florida College or State University.

Can be used nationwide.

How long do I have to use the plan?

Ten years from the child’s projected college enrollment year selected on the application.

There is no set time period for using the plan.

Financial Considerations

What are the federal tax benefits?

Earnings are tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses.

Earnings are tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses.

What are my contribution/payment options?

There are three payment options: monthly, five-year or lump sum.

There is no minimum contribution to get started; you can contribute as much and as often as you like.

Can I lose money in the plan?

No. Plans are guaranteed by the State of Florida.

Yes. The degree of risk varies based on the investment options selected.

What if the child never goes to college?

Payments you’ve made into the plan can be refunded, or the plan can be transferred to another eligible child/student.

You can transfer the plan to another eligible child/student or close the plan and withdraw the remaining balance, but any withdrawal not applied to qualified educational expenses may be subject to an IRS penalty, and gains, if any, may be subject to federal income tax.

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