Why Parents Stick Their Heads in the Sand When it Comes to Saving for College

(Photo by Sweet Memories Photography)

Boy, college has really been at the top of the news cycle lately. One day we’re reading all about how high-powered Hollywood parents scammed the system to get their children into prestigious universities, and the next, presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren announces a plan to cancel most student loan debt and eliminate public college tuition. Now that would be something.

But the chances of it actually happening? This Boca mom isn’t holding her breath.

The bottom line? Higher education is expensive. And I know prices are only going to increase before my kindergarten daughter graduates high school in 2031.

So why is it that so many parents put saving for college on the back burner? I don’t feel like it was that long ago that I myself was a “broke college student” living on ramen as my funds ran low near the end of the month. And I consider myself one of the lucky ones—I was able to take advantage of Florida’s Bright Futures scholarship program and my parents generously footing the bill for my in-state living expenses. This allowed me to graduate with zero student loan debt, which is a far cry from the average college student’s graduation bill of $39,400, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Perhaps parents’ reluctance to start saving is simply because college seems so far away. Or maybe they’re convinced their kids will go to school outside of Florida, so why would they take advantage of a college savings program in their home state?

(Photo by Sweet Memories Photography)

Well, Boca parents (and their bank accounts) are absolutely missing out if they don’t start saving with Florida Prepaid for their kids—and they only have until April 30 to take advantage of the 2019 enrollment period.

If you’re not familiar with Florida Prepaid, their plans allow families to prepay, on a monthly or lump-sum basis, the future cost of Florida college tuition, specified fees, and dormitory housing. When your child is ready for college, the plan pays the tuition and fees at any Florida college or state university.

Note: If your child attends an out-of-state college or private college, the plan will still pay the same amount as it would pay at a public college or university in Florida.

We enrolled our daughter in the 1-Year University Plan last year and it costs us $56 per month. Had we started when she was a baby, we would be paying even less. It’s a financial no brainer. Not to mention, Florida Prepaid is the largest and longest-running prepaid program in the nation and more than 1 million families have purchased plans since 1988. It has created a generational legacy of affordable higher education access. Aren’t you proud to live in a state that has that?

If you’d like more information, be sure to check out myfloridaprepaid.com prior to the April 30 enrollment deadline. And if you’d like to save $30 on your application fee, be sure to enter my discount code: BOCA19.

Every little bit helps when saving for college.