Save $50 off your Prepaid Plan enrollment fee before September 2.


BASICS ON 529 PLANS

GENERAL

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What is a 529 Plan?

A 529 Plan is a savings vehicle designed specifically for higher education expenses. The name “529” comes from Section 529 of the federal tax code, which authorizes states to offer the plans. There are two types of 529 Plans – Prepaid and Savings, and both Prepaid Plans and Savings Plans are authorized 529 college savings plans. Earnings in 529 Plans are tax-free when they are used for Qualified Higher Education Expenses. In general, qualified expenses include tuition, fees, room and board, and the cost of books, supplies and equipment required for the enrollment or attendance at an Eligible Educational Institution, including undergraduate, graduate, and vocational/technical schools.

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What is the difference between a Prepaid Plan and a Savings Plan?

A Prepaid Plan is basically a prepackaged college savings plan covering specified college costs in the future. Prepaid Plans simplify saving for future college costs. You do not have to worry about how much to save, when to save or how to invest with a Prepaid Plan. Simply pick a plan, make your payments, and when your student is ready for college, the plan pays for the costs covered by the plan. The Prepaid Plans offered by the Florida Prepaid College Board are guaranteed by the State of Florida, so you can never lose what you’ve paid toward the plan.

A Savings Plan allows you to develop your own plan to save for college. You decide how much you want to save and when you want to save. You also get to choose how you want to invest your savings using the investment options offered by the plan. When it comes time for college, you use your savings to pay for actual college costs at that time. Savings Plans are not guaranteed, so the value of your investment is subject to market fluctuations.

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Can I enroll in both a Prepaid Plan and a Savings Plan?

Yes. Prepaid and Savings Plans work well together. For example, you could use a Prepaid Plan to cover up to four years of tuition and fees and a Savings Plan to pay for books, a computer, room and board. If you don’t want to use a Prepaid Plan to save for all four years of tuition and fees, you could purchase a 2-Year Florida College Plan or one or more 1-Year University Plans and also open a Savings Plan.

When deciding how to save, focus on your investment preferences. For example, do you prefer guaranteed investments (Prepaid) or investment control (Savings)?

Also, consider what you can afford. You may want to, but you don’t have to save for everything. Parent surveys suggest that most parents anticipate paying 40% of their child’s higher education expenses.

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How does a 529 Plan compare to other college savings vehicles?

Savings vehicles like 529 Plans offer distinct advantages over traditional checking or savings accounts, namely the opportunity for tax-free earnings. Here is how 529 Plans compare to other college savings vehicles.

529 Plans Coverdell Education Savings Accounts Qualifying U.S. Savings Bonds UGMA/UTMA
Federal Income Tax Contributions made with after-tax funds; earnings excluded from income for federal tax purposes when used for qualified college expenses Contributions made with after-tax funds; earnings excluded from income for federal tax purposes when used for qualified college and K-12 expenses Certain “EE” and “I” bonds may be redeemed tax-free for college expenses First $1,050 is tax-exempt; unearned income over $2,100 for certain children under age 24 is taxed at parent rate
Federal Gift Tax Treatment Contributions treated as gifts; annual and 5-yr… federal exclusions apply Contributions treated as gifts; annual federal exclusions apply Not considered a gift Contributions treated as gifts; annual federal exclusions apply
Federal Estate Tax Treatment Value excluded from contributor’s estate; included for death during 5-yr.. election period Value excluded from contributor’s estate Value included in owner’s estate Value excluded from contributor’s estate
Maximum Investment $418,000 per Beneficiary in Florida $2,000 per Beneficiary per year (all sources) $10,000 face value per year, per owner, per type of bond No limit
Qualified Expenses Tuition, fees, books, computers and related equipment, supplies, special needs; room and board for minimum half-time students Tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment, special needs; room and board for minimum half-time students; additional categories of K-12 expenses Tuition and fees No restrictions
Change Beneficiary Yes
(member of family)
Yes
(member of family)
Not applicable Prohibited
Time/Age Restrictions Prepaid: Enroll before 11th grade, 10-yr.. benefit period
Savings: None
Contributions before Beneficiary reaches age 18; use of account by age 30 Bond purchaser must be at least 24 years old at time of bond issuance Custodianship terminates when minor becomes adult
Income Restrictions None Contributions limited for incomes approx. $100K and above Interest exclusion for incomes approx. $77K and below None
Federal Financial Aid Asset of parent if owner is parent or dependent student Asset of parent if owner is parent or dependent student Counted as asset of bond owner Counted as asset of the student
Use for Non-Qualifying Expenses Withdrawn earnings subject to federal tax and 10% penalty Withdrawn earnings subject to federal tax and 10% penalty No penalty; interest on redeemed bonds included as income Funds must be used for benefit of the minor

For specific information about your situation and options, please consult an investment adviser or certified public accountant.

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What is a Beneficiary?

A Beneficiary is the person whom you are saving for.

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What are Qualified Higher Education Expenses?

Qualified Higher Education Expenses are defined in Section 529 of the federal tax code. They include:

  1. Tuition;
  2. Fees;
  3. Room and board expenses during an academic period in which the student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree, certificate or other program that leads to a recognized educational credential awarded by an Eligible Educational Institution;
  4. Textbooks, supplies and equipment required for enrollment or attendance
  5. Computers, peripheral equipment, software and internet service primarily used by the student; and
  6. Special needs services incurred in connection with enrollment or attendance.

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What is an Eligible Educational Institution?

An Eligible Educational Institution is an accredited postsecondary institution offering credit toward a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, a graduate-level or professional degree, or another recognized postsecondary credential. Certain proprietary institutions and postsecondary vocational institutions are also Eligible Educational Institutions. The institution must be eligible to participate in a student financial aid program under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. Section 1088).

To check the eligibility of a school, visit fafsa.ed.gov and select “School Code Search.” Or contact the school directly.

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SCHOLARSHIPS AND FINANCIAL AID IMPACT

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Does a 529 Plan impact financial aid eligibility?

Any non-retirement investment or savings account may affect your eligibility for financial aid. A portion of your Prepaid and Savings Plan value will be considered when calculating the Expected Family Contribution (or EFC) on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA). When calculating the student’s EFC, up to 5.64% of parental assets are counted. This is quite favorable compared to other student assets, which are counted at 20%.

If the plan is owned by someone other than a parent or the student, withdrawals from a plan are reporting as student income in the following year for EFC purposes. Generally speaking, a higher EFC will lower financial aid eligibility.

For more information, please consult fafsa.ed.gov or an educational financial aid adviser.

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Does having a 529 Plan impact scholarship eligibility?

In general, a 529 Plan should not affect eligibility for merit–based scholarships. Having a 529 Plan will not prevent you from receiving a Bright Futures Scholarship in Florida. In fact, if your child receives a Bright Futures Scholarship and you also have a Prepaid Plan, excess monies can be used to pay for other Qualified Higher Education Expenses such as textbooks, supplies and housing.

For more information about the Bright Futures Scholarship, please call 1-888-827-2004.

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Where can I find more information about saving for college using funds from a Gardiner Scholarship?

We have answers to a number of questions relating to the Gardiner Scholarship Program.

TAX-RELATED

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What are the estate tax benefits of 529 Plans?

Contributions to a 529 Plan are generally considered completed gifts to the student and may be contributed, up to federal gift tax limits, to a plan without being subject to federal gift tax on the contributor(s). Such contributions are not included in the contributors’ estate for federal estate tax purposes.

Federal tax law does allow an individual to contribute in excess of the annual gift tax limit by treating certain contributions as if they were made over a five-year period. These contributions are not included in the contributors’ estate for federal estate tax purposes. However, this approach requires filing a gift tax return and, if the contributor dies before the end of the five-year period, the portion of the contribution allocable to the remaining years in the five-year period will be included in the contributor’s gross estate for federal estate tax purposes. The IRS has established lifetime exclusions such that no gift tax will be due until the lifetime exemptions have been used.

For specific information about your situation, please consult an investment adviser or certified public accountant.

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Can I claim a federal income tax deduction based on contributions to a 529 Plan?

Contributions to a 529 Plan do not reduce the taxable income of the contributor for federal tax purposes because they are made with after-tax dollars, much like a Roth IRA (Individual Retirement Account).

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Can I claim a state income tax deduction based on contributions to a 529 Plan?

Certain states may allow contributors to deduct contributions to a 529 Plan for state income tax purposes. This does not apply in Florida because Florida does not assess a state income tax.

For specific information about your situation, please consult an investment adviser or certified public accountant.

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PREPAID PLAN

HOW IT WORKS

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How does a Florida Prepaid Plan work?

A Florida Prepaid College Plan allows families to lock in college plan prices and prepay, on a monthly or lump-sum basis, the future cost of college tuition, tuition differential fee, local fees and, optionally, dormitory housing.

When your student is ready for college, the Plan pays the costs covered under your plan type at any Florida College or State University, even if the cost of college is higher than anticipated when your plan prices were set. That is one of the major advantages of a Prepaid Plan, and it’s backed by a guarantee from the State of Florida.

If your student attends an out-of-state college or private college, the plan will pay the same amount as it would pay at a public college or university in Florida. Prepaid Plans also work with scholarships, and you can use them together to cover even more college expenses. 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.

Every Prepaid Plan is guaranteed by the State of Florida to pay the tuition and fees covered by your plan, and you can never lose what you have paid into the plan. Also, your student has 10 years from their projected college enrollment date to use the plan. This means that by purchasing a plan for a newborn, for example, you are able to lock in the costs covered by a Florida Prepaid Plan for the next 28 years (i.e., 18 years until they can start college plus 10 years after that to finish college).

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How are Florida Prepaid Plan prices determined?

Florida Prepaid Plan prices are actuarially determined. They take into consideration current tuition and fee rates, tuition inflation and investment yields. The current tuition and fee rates are based on a weighted average of fees charged by Florida Colleges and Florida Universities, as applicable.

The price you pay for your Florida Prepaid Plan is less than what college is expected to cost in the future. So when we receive a payment on your plan, we invest the funds to earn the additional monies necessary to pay for future college costs. We handle all of the investing and, what’s more, your investment is guaranteed by the State of Florida. You cannot lose money on your investment.

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How are my payments used in a Florida Prepaid Plan?

The price you pay for your Florida Prepaid Plan is less than what college is expected to cost in the future. So when we receive a payment on your plan, we invest the funds to earn the additional monies necessary to pay for future college costs. We handle all of the investing and, what’s more, your investment is guaranteed by the State of Florida. You cannot lose money on your investment.

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What happens if the cost of college is different than what was expected?

If the future cost of college rises even more than we expected when we priced your plan, we still pay the fees covered by your plan at the time your student uses their benefits. That is one of the major advantages of a Prepaid Plan, and it’s backed by a guarantee from the State of Florida.

In the unlikely event that the future cost of college is less that what you paid for your Florida Prepaid Plan, you may request, and you will receive, a refund for the difference between what you paid for your plan and the benefits paid by your plan.

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Who owns a Florida Prepaid Plan?

The Account Owner owns the Florida Prepaid Plan and all contributions. The Account Owner retains full control over the plan and who uses it.

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Can I lose money in a Florida Prepaid Plan?

No. Every Florida Prepaid Plan is guaranteed by the State of Florida, so you can never lose what you’ve paid in.

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OPENING YOUR PLAN

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Who can open a Florida Prepaid Plan?

A Florida Prepaid Plan may be opened by any individual 18 years of age or older who is a U.S. citizen or legal U.S. resident with a valid Social Security number.

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When can I open a Florida Prepaid Plan?

You may enroll any time. We announce new pricing at the start of the annual Open Enrollment period. If you enroll outside of the Open Enrollment period, you will receive the pricing information for your plan when the next Open Enrollment period begins. Our prices may change from year to year. If you sign up before Open Enrollment and you are not satisfied with your plan price when Open Enrollment begins, let us know. We’ll help you select another plan or payment option to meet your goals and your budget.

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How do I open a Florida Prepaid Plan?

You may enroll any time. Please visit myfloridaprepaid.com to complete an application.

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Who can be a Beneficiary?

The Beneficiary is the person you are saving for. You may enroll any Florida resident with a valid Social Security number, age newborn through 11th grade, in a Prepaid Plan. The student may have up to a maximum of 120 hours of registration fees (tuition, financial aid, capital improvement fee), local fee and tuition differential fee coverage and up to eight semesters of university dormitory coverage.

If a parent lives in Florida, and has done so for 12 consecutive months prior to purchase, then that parent may enroll their child who lives in another state.

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What are the fees to open a Florida Prepaid Plan?

There is a $50 application fee per enrollment period to open a new Florida Prepaid Plan. There is a $10 application fee to add supplemental coverage, like a Dormitory Plan. If you add supplemental coverage when you purchase a new Prepaid Plan, we waive the additional $10 fee.

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Are there any income limitations for participating in a Florida Prepaid Plan?

No. There are no income limitations for participating in a Florida Prepaid Plan.

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MAKING PAYMENTS

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What payment options are available?

We offer three convenient payment options: lump sum, 5-year, or (our most popular) monthly option. The first payment date is April 20. Monthly and 5-year payment plans continue on the 20th of each month until the plan is paid in full.

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What forms of payment are accepted?

There are multiple ways to make a payment. You can:

  1. Contribute online at myfloridaprepaid.com. We offer one-time and recurring options;
  2. Mail a check (including account number) payable to Florida Prepaid College Plan, PO Box 31088, Tampa, FL 33631;
  3. Sign up for automatic payroll deduction with participating employers; or,
  4. Pay by phone by calling 1-800-552-GRAD (4723).

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Can other people contribute to my Florida Prepaid Plan?

If you have friends and family who want to contribute to your Florida Prepaid Plan, you can invite them to send a check and Gift Certificate Form to PO Box 31088, Tampa, FL 33631. Please make sure the person sending the gift includes an account number and your student’s name to help us properly post the funds to your plan.

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Are down payments accepted?

You may choose to make a down payment or to pay more than your monthly payment amount. While we cannot adjust your subsequent payment amounts, you will pay off your Florida Prepaid Plan ahead of schedule. There is never a penalty for paying off your plan early.

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Can I move money from another 529 Plan to help pay for my Florida Prepaid Plan?

Currently, we are not able to accept funds from another 529 Plan into a Florida Prepaid Plan.

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USING YOUR PLAN

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Does a Florida Prepaid Plan have to be used at a Florida College or State University?

No. While Florida Prepaid Plans are designed to be used at a Florida College or State University, the plans can also be applied at other schools nationwide. Plans can be used at in-state, out-of-state, public or private schools around the country – or even the world. With your Florida Prepaid Plan, the value we pay to other schools is the same as we would have paid to a Florida school.

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Does a Florida Prepaid Plan guarantee admission to a college or university?

No. It is the responsibility of each student to qualify for admission to the college or university of their choice. However, Florida law does guarantee admission to a State University after a student receives an associate’s degree from a Florida College. The 2 + 2 Florida Plan is designed for students interested in this undergraduate path.

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What happens if my student receives a scholarship?

Prepaid Plans work great alongside scholarships, and you can use them together to cover even more college expenses. For example, the value of Prepaid Plan benefits can also be applied to graduate or professional schools nationwide. If your student receives a scholarship, you also have the option to get a refund for the same amount as the plan would pay a public college or university in Florida based on your plan type.

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When can a Florida Prepaid Plan be used?

Florida Prepaid Plans may be used during any academic semester, including summer terms, beginning in the summer of the student’s projected college enrollment year (generally, the year they are expected to graduate high school). If your student graduates from high school early, please let us know. We can modify your plan to allow for early usage. If you wish to use your plan early, we recommend that you give us a call approximately six-months prior to college enrollment.

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How long can a Florida Prepaid Plan be used?

Your student has 10 years from their projected college enrollment date (generally, the year they are expected to graduate high school) to use their plan benefits. This means that by purchasing a plan for a newborn, as an example, you are able to lock in the costs covered by a Florida Prepaid Plan for the next 28 years (i.e., 18 years until they can start college plus 10 years after that to finish college).

If a student does not use all of the plan benefits for undergraduate education, the plan value can be applied toward graduate-level courses within the same 10-year period. You may also transfer the benefits to another qualified family member, or you may request a refund.

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How do college expenses get paid?

Florida Prepaid Plan students who are scheduled to start college for the first time will receive a First Time In College notification in the spring of their college enrollment year. This notification will provide basic information about how to use plan benefits and explain what to expect during the college enrollment process.

Payments to a Florida College or State University are automatic. The school will bill Florida Prepaid directly each semester for the tuition and fees covered by your plan. Payment is issued by Florida Prepaid directly to the school.

Students planning to attend a private or out-of-state institution must complete a Transfer Authorization request before plan benefits will be paid. The Transfer Authorization includes additional details about how these schools are paid. Log in to your account at myfloridaprepaid.com to complete a Transfer Authorization.

Please note that some institutions may request information about your Prepaid Plan or request a Student Identification (ID) Card when you register and pay for classes. Account information and Student ID Cards are available for print within your online account.

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What if the school the Beneficiary wants to attend does not match the type of Florida Prepaid Plan purchased?

Another great feature of a Florida Prepaid Plan is that the value of the plan purchased may be applied toward the costs at any Eligible Educational Institution. At state institutions in Florida, we will convert college hours to university hours and vice versa to ensure that you get maximum value for your plan.

As an example, benefits available under a 2-Year Florida College Plan or a 4-Year Florida College Plan can be paid to a State University. Similarly, benefits available for a 4-Year Florida University Plan or a 1-Year Florida University Plan can be paid to a Florida College. Please keep in mind, in the first example above, Florida College Plan benefits paid to a State University will deplete the plan at a faster rate because the cost per credit hour at a State University is generally higher than the cost of a credit hour at a Florida College. The student will be responsible for any difference not covered by their plan.

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Can a Florida Prepaid Plan be used to pay for the cost of vocational or graduate school?

Yes. We will transfer the value of the plan purchased to pay costs at any Eligible Educational Institution – including vocational schools and graduate programs.

Students planning to attend an eligible private or out-of-state institution must complete a Transfer Authorization request before benefits will be paid. The Transfer Authorization includes additional details about how these schools are paid. Log in to your account at myfloridaprepaid.com to complete a Transfer Authorization.

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Will tax documents be received when a Florida Prepaid Plan is used?

Yes. A Form 1099-Q will be provided in January of each year to students who have used their Florida Prepaid Plan during the previous calendar year. In addition, a Form 1099-Q will be provided to an Account Owner who has received a scholarship refund or reimbursement during the year. Tax documents will be available online at myfloridaprepaid.com and mailed based on your delivery preferences.

For specific tax information, please consult an investment adviser or certified public accountant.

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MANAGING YOUR PLAN

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What if the Beneficiary does not go to college?

If the student does not use their Florida Prepaid Plan benefits, you may transfer the benefits to another qualified family member or you may request a refund. Your refund will be equal to the payments that you have made, less any previous refunds, and a fee of up to $50 per plan or 50% of the amount paid to the board, whichever is less, may be assessed upon termination of the plan.

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Can I cancel my Florida Prepaid Plan or withdraw my funds early?

Yes, you may cancel your Florida Prepaid Plan at any time and for any reason. You may request a refund equal to the payments that you have made, less any fees, usage and refunds.

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Can the Beneficiary be changed?

Plan benefits can be transferred from one student to a family member of the student. The new student must be a resident of Florida and must be able to use the plan within the original 10-year benefit period.

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What happens if I move?

While Florida residency is required to purchase a Florida Prepaid Plan, it is not required to keep one. If you or the student move out of state, your plan will continue as if you never left. As another added bonus for owning a Florida Prepaid Plan, if your student attends a Florida College or State University, they will be considered an in-state resident for tuition purposes because they have a Florida Prepaid Plan.

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Can a Florida Prepaid Plan be opened jointly?

Florida Prepaid Plans are owned and managed by a single Account Owner. However, after you enroll, you may name a Survivor who will have a right of survivorship. In addition, for plans purchased after February 1, 2009, the Survivor will also have certain limited rights of approval for change of Beneficiary, change of Account Owner and cancellation.

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What if I can no longer afford the payments?

We want to help you and your student reach your college savings goals. If you are not able to afford your Florida Prepaid Plan payments, please let us know. We may be able to help you with an alternate payment schedule or change your plan to one that better fits your budget.

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DORMITORY-SPECIFIC QUESTIONS

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Who is eligible to purchase a University Dormitory Plan?

You may add dormitory housing coverage to a Florida Prepaid Plan with university tuition coverage at the time you enroll, or during a later enrollment period. A maximum of two semesters of dormitory fees may be prepaid for each year of State University coverage. These students must be in the 11th grade or below when the University Dormitory Plan is purchased.

In addition, dormitory housing coverage may be purchased for a student without purchasing other tuition and fee coverage if that student was adopted from the Department of Children and Family Services. Please contact customer service at 1-800-552-GRAD for more information.

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What housing expenses are covered?

The Dormitory Plan is designed to pay for a double-occupancy, air-conditioned dormitory room at a State University in Florida. However, the value of your plan may be used to cover other university-held housing, as approved by Florida Prepaid. We approve housing options annually. Click here for a current list of approved university housing.

In addition, the value of your Dormitory Plan may be used for other housing that is controlled by the school (or, for Florida Colleges, a direct-support organization) and approved by Florida Prepaid. If the student lives off-campus or in privately held housing, then you may receive a refund equal to the payments that you have made, less any fees, usage and refunds.

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Does a University Dormitory Plan guarantee you to have a dormitory room?

No. Residence in a dormitory is subject to available space and is not guaranteed by Florida Prepaid. It is the responsibility of each student to qualify and apply for housing.

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What happens if you do not live in a dormitory?

The value of your Dormitory Plan may be used for other university-held housing, as approved by Florida Prepaid. If the student lives off-campus or in privately held housing, then you may receive a refund equal to the payments that you have made, less any fees, usage and refunds.

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What happens if a dormitory room is not available at the school you go to?

If a university offers eligible housing but does not have available units, you may request an Unavailable Dormitory Refund. For State Universities in Florida, the refund will equal the average of the housing fees payable by your plan to the State University for approved dormitories in the semester during which housing is unavailable. For other Eligible Educational Institutions, the refund will equal the statewide average for eligible double-occupancy, air-conditioned dormitory rooms payable by your plan in the State of Florida.

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SAVINGS PLAN

HOW IT WORKS

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How does the Florida 529 Savings Plan work?

The Florida 529 Savings Plan allows you to develop your own plan to save for college. You decide how much you want to save and when you want to save. You also get to choose how you want to invest your savings using the investment options offered by the plan. We offer three predesigned portfolios, or if you want to create your own portfolio, we also offer eight different fund options in a variety of investment strategies with a wide range of risk profiles. When it comes time for college, you use your savings to pay for actual college costs at that time.

Savings Plans are not guaranteed, so the value of your investment is subject to market fluctuations.

For more information, please visit our 529 Savings Plan page.

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Who owns a Florida 529 Savings Plan?

The Account Owner owns the Florida 529 Savings Plan and all contributions. The Account Owner retains full control over the plan and who uses it.

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How do you determine how much to save?

We offer a College Cost Calculator that will help you determine how much to save based on your specific scenario and savings goals.

It’s important to remember, when deciding how much to save, focus on what you can afford. You may want to, but you don’t have to save for everything. A recent survey by Sallie Mae found that parents expect to pay about 40% of their children’s college costs. One popular approach to saving is to focus on saving for just one category, like tuition and fees.

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What college costs does the Florida 529 Savings Plan cover?

A Florida 529 Savings Plan can be used to pay for any Qualified Higher Education Expense as defined in Section 529 of the federal tax code. They include:

  1. Tuition;
  2. Fees;
  3. Room and board expenses during an academic period in which the student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree, certificate or other program that leads to a recognized educational credential awarded by an Eligible Educational Institution;
  4. Textbooks, supplies and equipment required for enrollment or attendance;
  5. Computers, peripheral equipment, software and internet service primarily used by the student; and
  6. Special needs services incurred in connection with enrollment or attendance.

You can withdraw and use the funds for other purposes, but doing so may have tax consequences.

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Are investment returns guaranteed?

No. As with any investment, it is possible to lose money with a Florida 529 Savings Plan. We offer a variety of investment options ranging from conservative to aggressive. The degree of risk varies based on the investment option you select.

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OPENING YOUR PLAN

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Who can open a Florida 529 Savings Plan?

A Florida 529 Savings Plan can be opened by any individual 18 years of age or older that is a U.S. citizen or legal U.S. resident with a valid Social Security number.

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When can I open a Florida 529 Savings Plan?

You may enroll any time. Please visit myfloridaprepaid.com. We offer enrollment year-round.

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Who can be a Beneficiary?

The Beneficiary is the person you are saving for. You may enroll any U.S. citizen or resident alien with a valid Social Security number, nationwide, at any age, and at any time. It’s never too early, or too late, to save for college.

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Can I open Florida 529 Savings Plans for more than one Beneficiary?

Yes. While there can only be one Beneficiary for each plan, you can open separate plans for different Beneficiaries.

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Can different people open separate Florida 529 Savings Plans for the same Beneficiary?

Yes. Many families choose to enroll in multiple plans. The aggregate maximum account balance for all plans for the same student is $418,000.

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Can I open a Florida 529 Savings Plan for an unborn student?

A parent planning for children may open a Florida 529 Savings Plan for himself or herself and then transfer some or all of the funds to the child after birth.

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Can a Beneficiary have a Florida Prepaid Plan in addition to a Florida 529 Savings Plan?

Yes. Florida Prepaid and Florida 529 Savings Plans work well together. For example, a Prepaid Plan will cover tuition and other specified fees. Pair it with a Savings Plan to pay for books, a computer, room and board, and other Qualified Higher Education Expenses.

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What are the fees to open a Florida 529 Savings Plan?

None. You can open a Florida 529 Savings Plan for free. There is no application fee or minimum contribution to get started.

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Are there income limitations for participating in a Florida 529 Savings Plan?

No. There are no income limitations for opening a Florida 529 Savings Plan.

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CONTRIBUTING TO YOUR PLAN

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How do I contribute to my Florida 529 Savings Plan?

There are multiple ways to make a contribution. You can:

  1. Contribute online at myfloridaprepaid.com. We offer one-time and recurring options;
  2. Mail a check (including account number) payable to Florida 529 Savings Plan, PO Box 31483, Tampa, FL 33631-3483; or,
  3. Sign up for automatic payroll deduction with a participating employer.

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Is there a minimum contribution amount?

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

Many families find the best way to fund a college savings plan is to set up an automatic monthly contribution so it’s part of their regular budget.

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Can other people contribute to my Florida 529 Savings Plan?

Yes. If you have friends and family that want to contribute to your Florida 529 Savings Plan, you can set up a gifting event at myfloridaprepaid.com and invite them to join the cause. Or, invite them to send a check and a Contribution Coupon Form to PO Box 31088, Tampa, FL 33631. If someone sends a check for one of your plans, make sure they include an account number and your student’s name to help us properly post the funds to your plan.

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When are my contributions actually invested?

Contributions received and processed before the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange will be invested the same day. Contributions received and processed after the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange will be invested on the next business day.

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Can I move money from another 529 Plan to Florida's 529 Savings Plan?

Yes. Funds may be transferred from another state’s 529 Plan into a Florida 529 Savings Plan. The IRS calls this a “rollover” and allows you to do so once every 12 months for the same Beneficiary.

In addition, Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), Uniform Gift/Transfers to Minor Act (UGMA/ UTMA) assets and redeemed U.S. Savings Bonds can also be transferred to a 529 Plan at any time.

For specific guidance relating to your college savings plans, please consult an investment adviser or certified public accountant.

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UNDERSTANDING YOUR INVESTMENTS

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What are my investment options?

You may choose from one or more of our investment options. We offer three predesigned portfolios, or if you want to create your own portfolio, we also offer eight different fund options in a variety of investment strategies with a wide range of risk profiles.

For more information, please visit our Investment Options page.

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Who are the investment managers and how are they chosen?

We use a strategic and competitive selection process to identify and contract with professional investment managers. Each investment manager is selected based on numerous factors, including, but not limited to: investment philosophy and strategy, performance history, organizational experience and financial stability.

For more information, please visit our Investment Manager page.

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When can I change my investment allocations?

For new contributions, you can change your investment allocation at any time. For existing balances, the IRS limits balance reallocations to twice per calendar year.

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What fees apply?

We charge an Administration Fee based on fees charged to us for investment management services, trustee services, records administration services, marketing services, and customer services. Currently, the Administration Fee varies by investment option, up to 0.75% (annualized) of the account balance.

There are no adviser fees, sales commissions or annual account fees like those you may find in other plans.

For more information about fees, please review Section 7 of the Program Description and Participation Agreement.

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USING YOUR PLAN

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When can a Florida 529 Savings Plan be used?

Your Florida 529 Savings Plan can be used at any time.

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Where can a Florida 529 Savings Plan be used?

Your Florida 529 Savings Plan can be used at any Eligible Educational Institution.

An Eligible Educational Institution is an accredited postsecondary institution offering credit toward a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, a graduate-level or professional degree, or another recognized postsecondary credential. Certain proprietary institutions and postsecondary vocational institutions are also Eligible Educational Institutions. The institution must be eligible to participate in a student financial aid program under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. Section 1088).

To check the eligibility of a school, visit fafsa.ed.gov and select “School Code Search.” Or, contact the school directly.

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How long do you have to use a Florida 529 Savings Plan?

There is no set time period for using your Florida 529 Savings Plan.

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What college costs can a Florida 529 Savings Plan be used to pay for?

Your Florida 529 Savings Plan can be used to pay for any Qualified Higher Education Expense as defined in Section 529 of the federal tax code. They include:

  1. Tuition;
  2. Fees;
  3. Room and board expenses during an academic period in which the student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree, certificate or other program that leads to a recognized educational credential awarded by an Eligible Educational Institution;
  4. Textbooks, supplies and equipment required for enrollment or attendance;
  5. Computers, peripheral equipment, software and internet service primarily used by the student; and
  6. Special needs services incurred in connection with enrollment or attendance.

You can withdraw and use the funds for other purposes, but doing so may have tax consequences.

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Does a Florida 529 Savings Plan have to be used at a Florida college or university?

No. Your Florida 529 Savings Plan can be used at any Eligible Educational Institution.

An Eligible Educational Institution is an accredited postsecondary institution offering credit toward a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, a graduate-level or professional degree, or another recognized postsecondary credential. Certain proprietary institutions and postsecondary vocational institutions are also Eligible Educational Institutions. The institution must be eligible to participate in a student financial aid program under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. Section 1088).

To check the eligibility of a school, visit fafsa.ed.gov and select “School Code Search.” Or contact the school directly.

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Does having a Florida 529 Savings Plan guarantee admission to a college or university?

No. It is the responsibility of each student to qualify for admission to the college or university of their choice.

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How do I make withdrawals from a Florida 529 Savings Plan?

You may request a withdrawal from your Florida 529 Savings Plan online at myfloridaprepaid.com – we can send the money to you, to your student, or directly to an Eligible Educational Institution.

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How long do withdrawals take?

We issue withdrawals in two forms, via electronic funds transfer and via paper check. Electronic transfers are generally delivered within 3 days after a completed request is received. Paper checks are generally delivered within 45 days after a completed request is received. For security purposes, we may delay issuance of a withdrawal for 15 days due to recent contributions, account changes, etc.

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Will tax documents be received when a Florida 529 Savings Plan is used?

Yes. A Form 1099-Q will be provided in January of each year to students who have used their plan during the previous calendar year. In addition, a Form 1099-Q will be provided to an Account Owner who has received funds during the year. Tax documents will be available online at myfloridaprepaid.com and mailed based on your delivery preferences.

For specific tax information, please consult an investment adviser or certified public accountant.

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MANAGING YOUR PLAN

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What if my student does not go to college?

You may transfer your Florida 529 Savings Plan to another eligible student or close the plan and withdraw the remaining balance. Any earnings that are not used for Qualified Higher Education Expenses are subject to federal and, if applicable, state income taxes. In addition, there is a 10% federal tax penalty on the earnings not used for Qualified Higher Education Expenses with certain exceptions for death, disability and scholarships (to the extent of the amount of the scholarship).

For specific information about your tax situation, please consult an investment adviser or certified public accountant.

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Can I cancel my Florida 529 Savings Plan or withdraw my funds early?

Yes. You may cancel your Florida 529 Savings Plan and withdraw funds at any time and for any reason. Please keep in mind, any earnings that are not used for Qualified Higher Education Expenses are subject to federal and, if applicable, state income taxes. In addition, there is a 10% federal tax penalty on the earnings not used for Qualified Higher Education Expenses with certain exceptions for death, disability and scholarships.

For specific information about your tax situation, please consult an investment adviser or certified public accountant.

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Can I transfer my Florida 529 Savings Plan to someone else?

Yes. Florida 529 Savings Plan ownership can be transferred at any time to an individual 18 years of age or older and a U.S. citizen or legal U.S. resident.

In addition, funds may be transferred from one Florida 529 Savings Plan to another for a member of the student’s family. The IRS calls this a “rollover” and allows you to do so once every 12 months for the same Beneficiary.

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What happens if I move?

If you or your student move out of state at some point, your plan will continue as if you never left Florida.

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Can a Florida 529 Savings Plan be opened jointly?

A Florida 529 Savings Plan is owned and managed by a single Account Owner. However, after you enroll, you may name a Survivor who will have a right of survivorship. In addition, for plans purchased after to February 1, 2009, the Survivor will also have certain limited rights of approval for change of Beneficiary, change of Account Owner and cancellation.

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