DeSantis announces Florida Prepaid refunds and reduced prices

Christian Ayers, Intern Reporter

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced refunds and a price drop for the Florida Prepaid College program on Monday during a press conference at Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Downtown campus. A total of $500 million will be refunded back to families across the state, and the average payout will be about $4,700 to accounts that have been paid off.

The Florida Prepaid College Board lowered plan prices by $1.3 billion in total, and the reduction was applied retroactively to 224,000 accounts that were active since 2008. About 108,000 accounts were paid in full after the refund, and accounts that are still currently paying for the program will see their payments drop to $44 per month for a one-year plan, the lowest rate since 2015.

“By keeping the price of higher education affordable and creating an economy that allows the job market to expand, we are committed to the success of the state and all Floridians,” DeSantis said. “That is why my Bolder, Brighter, Better Future Budget will continue to halt the steep rise of tuition. I will continue to support and promote initiatives that reduce the burden on students and their families as they pursue a higher education.” 

UNF students appreciate the advantages offered by Florida Prepaid as well, like 20-year-old psychology and criminal justice major Emily Fox.

“My grandparents set a fund aside in Florida Prepaid for a while when I was born,” Fox said. “It covers basically everything, other than books.”

Psychology and criminal justice student Emily Fox. Photo credit Christian Ayers.

Having Florida Prepaid has made it easier for students like Fox to maintain focus in completing their higher education.

“It has made it easier because I haven’t had to worry about getting the money on my own, or depending on my parents for money,” Fox said.

Prior to the price drop, the Florida Prepaid program increased its rates in previous years to anticipate rising tuition costs in the state’s university system. However, the overall cost of tuition remained stable and prompted the Florida Prepaid College Board to bring down those prices in response.

“My administration has been committed to holding the line on the increasing cost of higher education,” DeSantis said. “And as a result, we are starting to see tuition rates level out.”

The Florida Prepaid program allows parents to invest and prepay their children’s tuition costs well before they go to college and locks in tuition rates for the year they open the account. The accounts apply to both in-state and out-of-state tuition costs for most universities in the country, allowing prospective college students more options for their post-secondary education.

For more information about Florida Prepaid and to see if you and your family are affected by the price drops and refunds, visit myfloridaprepaid.com/lowprices or call 800-552-4723.

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