Mr. Stanley G. Tate was instrumental in the early development of the Florida Prepaid College Program. It was his vision to provide Florida families with an affordable means to save for their children’s future college education. Mr. Tate served tirelessly as Board Chairman from 1987 to 2005. In recognition of Mr. Tate’s service, Governor Jeb Bush signed House Bill 263 into law on June 26, 2006, renaming the program the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program. Mr. Tate’s steadfast commitment to his vision remains to this day.
Highlights of Mr. Tate’s leadership include:
More than 58,000 tuition and dormitory contracts were sold in the first year. That same year, Mr. Tate reflected in the program’s first Annual Report, “We are embarking upon a path that is revolutionizing how Floridians plan for financing their children’s college education.”
In 1989, two years ahead of schedule, Mr. Tate presented the State of Florida a check for $600,000, repaying a start-up loan made by the Legislature to help launch the program. From this point forward, the program has remained fully self-supporting.
In 1990, the Florida Legislature created the Stanley Tate Project STARS scholarship program that is administered by the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Foundation. Project STARS helps low-income students who are at risk of dropping out of school by providing them with the opportunity of a college education.
In 1994, investments in the Florida Prepaid College Plan topped $1 billion.
In 1998, a new supplemental Prepaid Plan covering mandatory college fees, known as local fees, was introduced to complement existing Prepaid Tuition Plans. Nearly 20,000 customers purchased the new plan in the first year.
Throughout the first 12 years of operation, Mr. Tate was instrumental in making the Prepaid College Plan more flexible by allowing families to use their plan benefits at any qualified out-of-state college or university; by providing payment waivers to military families and victims of hurricanes; by allowing the transfer of dormitory benefits to community college residential facilities; and by allowing the use of plan benefits at public vocational/technical schools in Florida.
In 2002, under Mr. Tate’s leadership, the Board created the Florida 529 Savings Plan to provide families another way to save for college tuition, fees, housing and other college expenses. Prepaid College Plan sales exceeded the half-million mark this year.
With Mr. Tate’s guidance, the Board helped champion the federal legislation that exempts earnings on qualified withdrawals from Florida Prepaid College and Florida 529 Savings Plans from federal income tax.
Already the largest plan of its kind in the nation, the Prepaid College program set another record in 2005 with one million plans sold. At a ceremony to mark this historic triumph, the Board surprised the Orlando family who purchased the one millionth plan with a Florida Prepaid scholarship. Mr. Tate proudly announced, “Reaching one million plans is an extraordinary accomplishment. Our success is a tribute to Florida families, to Governor Bush and the Florida Legislature, and to all those over the last 17 years who have united to support the program and to make college more affordable. Having now surpassed the one million mark, Florida families have answered loud and clear that providing an affordable college education for their children is a priority for themselves and for the state.”
At the Florida Cabinet meeting on November 8, 2005, Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet issued a resolution recognizing Mr. Tate’s exemplary record of professional and dedicated service to the families and children of the state of Florida. As stated in the resolution, “Stanley Tate should be credited for his contributions in providing leadership and guidance to numerous education, charitable and community organizations for the benefit of families and children, championing the establishment of the Florida Prepaid College Program, implementing the 529 Savings Plan and through the Prepaid College Foundation redirecting the lives of thousands of Florida’s children by providing them with the opportunity to achieve their true potential in life.”
While Mr. Tate served as Chairman of the Board, the Board sold 1,052,080 total contracts, and more than 142,000 children used their plan benefits to attend a college or university. In addition, the Florida Prepaid College Foundation Board awarded more than 21,000 tuition and local fee scholarships, of them 15,472 were awarded to Stanley Tate Project STARS students, helping Florida’s children build a better future through a college education.
The Florida Prepaid College Board does not provide tax or investment advice regarding its Florida Prepaid College Plans or Florida 529 Savings Plan. Florida Prepaid College Plans are financially guaranteed by the State of Florida, Section 1009.98(7), Florida Statutes. Florida Prepaid College Plans may not cover certain fees imposed by state universities or colleges. Please read the Master Contract carefully. The Florida 529 Savings Plan is not guaranteed and is subject to market conditions. Carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the Florida 529 Savings Plan. As with any investment, it is possible to lose money by investing in this plan. Please read the Program Description and Participation Agreement carefully.