NEWS — February 7, 2020 at 2:12 pm

Florida Prepaid College prices drop result in thousands of refunds

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement that there would be refunds coming to families that have been paying into the Florida Prepaid tuition plan since 2008 and a reduction in the costs for new enrollments. The announcement was made Monday at Florida State College in Jacksonville. Photo courtesy of BOB SELF/FLORIDA TIMES-UNION

The Florida Prepaid College Board has lowered plan prices, which is benefitting families. As an effect of the costs lowering, people in Florida are getting refunds across the state, resulting in more than $500 million in reimbursements, with an average of $4,700 per refund.

Since the cost of Florida college tuition is rising at a slower rate than planned, it is one of the main reasons for the thousands of refunds. It has been estimated by the Sun-Sentinel that about 33,000 students will be getting refunds in Broward County, while 38,000 students will be rebated in Miami Dade County. This was announced on Monday, Jan. 13 by Gov. Ron DeSantis in a press conference. 

Prepaid officials have additionally reported that 24,000 students in Palm Beach County have received refunds as well. 

According to the Sun-Sentinel, the price of a four-year university plan has dropped about 5 percent, from $29,473 last year to $27,999 this year. For the people paying monthly, the cost has dropped from $186 to $177. 

“I think it’s amazing that the prices dropped, and that even though we bought it in an earlier [time], we are able to get a refund,” English teacher Holly Van Tassel-Schuster said. 

DeSantis declared that the price cutback is lined up with his administration’s intention to make post-secondary education more affordable for families. 

Former Governor Rick Scott held the same intentions to keep Florida tuition low after he was elected in 2010. However, the prices of the cost of tuition in Florida have previously been frozen or went up very little. 

“My son was born in 2010. The price that they charge you per month to send your child (should they choose to go to college) was almost as much as a new car payment, and that’s without paying for the insurance,” culinary teacher Ashley Kurth said.  “So, my husband and I spent a lot of time discussing whether or not we wanted to invest in the Florida Prepaid College, to which we actually decided with our financial planner that [it] is at our best interest to invest in public stock and use that as his Florida Prepaid.”

Depending on how Florida PrePaid members set up their original plans, they either received physical refunds or credit was put towards their now lowered balance.  

Although Florida tuition costs are still high, students that attend MSD benefit from the Florida Prepaid plan, in addition to other students across the state.  

“Florida prepaid is going to benefit me when I go to college because it takes away from what could’ve possibly been money that I would’ve needed to pay for student loans,” senior Chrissy Partis said. “Even though it may limit my choices of colleges I could attend, it makes the experience easier to pay.”

The enrollment window for Florida Prepaid plans opens Feb. 1 and closes on April 31. 

Sports Editor | + posts

Sophia Squiccirini is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a Sports Editor for the Eagle Eye. She enjoys traveling and her favorite movie is La La Land.

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