Press Release: Record-Setting First Week for Florida Prepaid College Plan Open Enrollment

Lower prices lead to increase in plan sales, website traffic and customer calls 

Tallahassee, FL – Lower plan prices, a new affordable plan offering and waived application fees – coupled with a statewide campaign to educate families about the power of saving for college – have resulted in a record-setting first week of Open Enrollment, the Florida Prepaid College Board announced today. Plan sales, website traffic and customer service calls all point to a surge in renewed interest from Florida families who are ready to start saving for college. “This is the first time we’ve seen such an exciting and busy first week of Open Enrollment since we began including both tuition and most fees in our Prepaid Plans,” said Board Chairman Duane Ottenstroer. “These Open Enrollment sales numbers are wonderful to see, because it means more families are saving for their children’s education, which in turn brings those children  so many future opportunities.” Overall First Week Statistics

  • Total Prepaid Plan sales for tuition based plans are already at more than half of last year’s total. CY2014 – 10,154; CY2015 through Oct. 21 – 6,031
  • Nearly 3,200 Prepaid Plans were purchased on the first day of Open Enrollment.
  • More than 5,000 new accounts are currently in the application process.
  • Florida Prepaid Facebook and Twitter account engagement increased exponentially, with an increase of 500% and 3,000% respectively for social posts driving traffic to www.myfloridaprepaid.com.

Comparing First Week Statistics

  • Total Prepaid Plan sales up 208% over last year. CY2014 – 1,959; CY2015 – 6,031
  • Total Prepaid Plan sales up 111% over average of last three years. Average CY2012-2014 – 2,856; CY2015 – 6,031
  • Total www.myfloridaprepaid.com website sessions up 220%. CY2014 – 22,729; CY2015 – 72,667
  • Total calls to customer service up 108% from last year. CY2014 -5,579 ; CY2015 11,595

“We are extremely excited to see this renewed interest in Florida Prepaid and we certainly hope this trend continues throughout Open Enrollment,” said Board Executive Director Kevin Thompson. “Right now really is the best time for Florida families to start saving for college. With lower prices and no upfront costs, Florida Prepaid is truly the easiest and most flexible option for Floridians.” Lower Prices Families can select one of five Prepaid Plans, including the new 1-Year Florida University Plan, all of which will cover tuition and most mandatory fees at one of Florida’s 12 State Universities and/or 28 Colleges. Prices of the most popular Florida Prepaid College Plans are their most affordable since 2007 — as much as 50 percent lower than last year.All Prepaid Plans now start at less than $175 a month, including two that start for less than $50 a month. No Upfront Costs The good news for families goes far beyond lower prices. Signing up for a Prepaid Plan now through Dec. 31, 2014 does not cost anything until the first payment is due April 20, 2015. That’s because Florida Prepaid is waiving all application fees for newly opened plans through the end of the year. With the $50 application fee being charged Jan. 1 through the Open Enrollment deadline of Feb. 28, 2015, now is the best time to sign up. Flexible Coverage Many people do not realize how flexible a Prepaid Plan is. While designed for use at a Florida College or State University, the amount covered by the plan can be applied to schools nationwide, as well as a technical school or a private educational institution. In addition, Prepaid Plan benefits can be used alongside any scholarships to cover costs other than just tuition and fees. If the scholarship covers all costs, families can receive a refund equal to what would have been paid to the school or transfer their plan to another family member. The Florida Prepaid College Plan remains financially sound and is guaranteed by the state of Florida. With a Prepaid Plan, families cannot lose their investment. To qualify for a plan, the child or the child’s parent/guardian must be a Florida resident. Parents, grandparents and friends can purchase a plan. For more information on 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.

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About the Florida Prepaid College Board The Florida Prepaid College Board manages the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program and the Florida 529 Savings Plan. Both are tax-favored 529 college savings plans authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. In 1987 the Florida Prepaid College Program was created by the Florida Legislature and the commitment and dedication of Mr. Stanley G. Tate to provide Florida families with an affordable means to save for their children’s future college education. The first Florida Prepaid College Plans were sold in 1988, and were augmented with the addition of the Florida 529 Savings Plan in 2002. Florida Prepaid is the largest, longest running and most successful prepaid plan in the nation with more than 1.6 million Florida Prepaid College Plans purchased and more than $6.7 billion invested in Prepaid Plans by Florida families. The 529 Savings Plan has more than 35,000 active accounts with a market value of more than $375 million.

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