Florida Prepaid College Board Launches 30th Anniversary Year With New Open Enrollment Dates, Next Florida Prepaid Kid Contest

 New dates and contest for 30 winners will provide families with new college savings opportunities

September 26, 2018

  • The Open Enrollment period will shift to February 1, 2019 through April 30, 2019 – giving families a chance to start saving after the holidays and as part of new year savings goals.
  • The Next Florida Prepaid Kid Contest will award 30 winners with scholarships ranging from $1,000 in a Florida 529 Savings Plan, to a 4-Year University Plan valued at nearly $30,000.
  • More than 1 million families have purchased Florida Prepaid College Plans since 1988, and more than 460,000 students have gone to college using Prepaid Plan benefits, creating a generational legacy of affordable higher education access.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Thirty years after selling the first Florida Prepaid Plans, the Florida Prepaid College Board today announced it will shift the next Open Enrollment period to better accommodate families’ financial needs. The Board is also celebrating the generations of students who have since 1988 benefited from Prepaid Plans, by launching The Next Florida Prepaid Kid Contest, which will gift 30 winners with 30 college scholarships.

“We have so much to celebrate this year as we look back on three decades of helping hundreds of thousands of families save for college affordably,” said Florida Prepaid College Board Chairman John D. Rood. “It is truly a legacy unmatched in this country, because in 30 years, we have become and remained the national standard for Prepaid Plans. We also want to celebrate the new families that will become part of the future legacy of Florida Prepaid, by helping them save and giving them a chance to win these scholarships.”

The next Florida Prepaid College Plan Open Enrollment period will be from February 1 – April 30. Families can now recover financially from the holidays and turn toward new goals for the family budget. Research shows parents think about college savings and finances in the spring more than any other time of year. The change also helps families heed the advice of financial experts who recommend allocating end-of-year pay raises and bonuses or new year tax refunds toward college savings.

Florida Prepaid is the largest and longest-running prepaid program in the nation, thriving even as other states end their programs or stop accepting new participants. Miami developer Stanley Tate founded the Florida Prepaid College Program, convincing elected officials to give the concept a try as he championed the benefits it would have for families and for businesses seeking to build an educated workforce. In 1988, then-Governor Bob Martinez bought the first two plans for his twin granddaughters, toddlers at the time.

“I always knew it would be successful because of the money it would save people. And as Florida became more educated, we would have more people living here and it would continue to grow,” said Tate, whose eight grandchildren all have Prepaid Plans. “I didn’t realize it would be quite as successful as it has turned out to be. I have gotten thousands of letters from parents and children, all of them so happy that their cousin or friend or child was in the program. It’s a wonderful thing.”

Since 1988, more than 1 million families have followed in the Martinez family’s footsteps to buy plans. To date, more than 460,000 families have attended college using Prepaid Plans.

And now, Florida Prepaid wants to celebrate the next generation of Prepaid Kids. Through The Next Florida Prepaid Kid contest, happening September 24 through October 28, families can enter to win one of 30 scholarships, including a 4-Year University Plan.

Families can simply upload their child’s photo and tell Prepaid how higher education will make a difference in their life, then share with friends and family to earn votes. All entries will be reviewed and judged on a combination of creativity and subject matter.

Visit  www.myfloridaprepaid.com/nextprepaidkid  today to learn more and enter to win!

The Board hopes the new Open Enrollment dates and contest will encourage families to start developing a plan for college savings, no matter how far off college might seem for their child. The earlier a family starts planning for college savings, the less they need to set aside each month. And Prepaid Plans are guaranteed by the State of Florida, so you will never lose your investment.

Student loans are now the No. 2 source of debt in America as reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, behind only mortgages. Student loans make up 10 percent of all U.S. household debt and can be a burden to college graduates, potentially delaying home ownership and other financial milestones.

“Our Plans’ price options and flexibility have allowed us to succeed in helping so many families in the past 30 years, and we are thrilled to think about how many families we can help in the future,” said Board Executive Director Kevin Thompson. “Every time a family sends a child to college with one of our plans, it’s a testament to the importance and validity of our founding belief — that all Floridians should have an affordable means to save for their child’s future college education.”