Florida Prepaid Turns 25, But Costs Are Climbing

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email
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By: Mike Vasilinda
September 24, 2013

Florida’s Prepaid Plan has sold more than 7 hundred thousand plans in its 25 year history, but sales are dropping because of increasing costs.

This is a tale of two students. Douglas, on the right, will graduate debt free. “Yea my parents were in a position to take the Florida Prepaid, I’m very fortunate and I don’t think I’ll be in any debt,” says Douglas Futch, Ft. Lauderdale.

But Karla expects to owe 30,000 by the time she finishes grad school. “20 grand for undergrad, and more for grad school. Yea, it’s not fun,” says Karla Jiminez, Dania Beach

One in ten Florida Children currently have prepaid college plans. Prepaid has been averaging about 40,000 plan sales a year, but rising costs have cut that number in half, that worries the plans founder. “We’ve got to take care of the low and moderate income families, they represent the biggest population in this state,” Stanley Tate, Plan Founder.

At its beginning Prepaid was costing a newborn’s parents 15 dollars a month.

The cost of a prepaid plan today is 51,000 dollars for a new born. That’s up a whopping 10,000 dollars in just three years.

Governor Rick Scott, who has vetoed tuition increases in the past, says the plans are now out of reach for many parents. “Very few families are going to be able to afford this,” Sot: Rick Scott, Governor.

The answers, say advocates, is for lawmakers to put more cash into universities instead of raising tuition.

“The low income families can’t afford their kids to go to college, that’s the end of the story of a higher education for the state of Florida,” says Stanley Tate.

This past fall, 105,000 students who either entered a college or university entered with a prepaid scholarship.

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