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Have a Florida Prepaid College Plan? Watch out for the Gaps!

6:11 PM, Jan 2, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida Prepaid College Plan has been around for decades and while it has supporters, it also has limitations.

"The plan is designed to cover a certain portion of college costs and it does that well, but a lot of people don't realize it is not supposed to be all encompassing," said financial adviser Ben Wuerffel.

Parents who bought into the Florida College Prepaid Plan a few years ago thinking it would cover everything, are finding out it may not.

Those who purchased a plan between 2007 and 2010, and failed to buy a tuition differential plan are affected.

The tuition differential plan would have covered the increase at research level universities like University of Florida, Florida State University and University of Southern Florida, which could see as much as a 40 percent increase.

According to the Ft. Lauderdale Sentinel, of the 117,000 college prepaid plans purchased during that period, only one-third has enrolled in the tuition differential plan.

Wuerffel could not comment on a possible solution to their problem, but said a college prepaid plan never covers everything, and parents need to always consider a second plan to cover the shortfalls.

"There are other options: the 529 investment plan through the state of Florida mutual companies. You have to accept the investment risk, but it will give you another bucket to fill up to cover the expenses the Florida prepaid will not cover," he said.

 

Due to the holiday, a spokesperson at the Florida Prepaid College Plan could not be reached for comment.

But in 2007, then-Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law a bill exempting families who bought college prepaid plans prior to July 2007 from the tuition increase.

First Coast News

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