Do Florida College Graduates Have Less Student Loans Than Grads in Other States?

roll of money with graduation cap on topThere are plenty of great reasons to live in Florida - the weather is beautiful, you’re never more than 45 minutes away from a beach no matter where you’re located in the state, and, let’s not forget, it’s the home of the happiest place on earth, Disney World. If you’re already a college student, or are planning on attending college, there’s also one more reason to love the great state of Florida. Florida’s college graduates statistically carry less student loan debt than graduates from other state universities.

According to a report from the nonprofit Institute for College Access Success, slightly more than half of Florida’s students leave school with loans, significantly less than the national average of 70 percent. Florida’s New College of Florida has one of the lowest percentages of students taking out loans, 39 percent. So, how is this possible?

One of the biggest reasons is Florida’s Pre-Paid College Plan. The Plan will allow you to choose a payment schedule that you can start paying now towards college credits in the future. The cost of tuition and the Tuition Differential Fees are covered in the monthly payment.

How much does it cost? In August 2014, the Florida Prepaid College Board reduced the cost of its plans, lowering the price to the lowest level since 2007. The 4-Year Florida University Plan, which in 2013-14 cost approximately $350/month for a newborn, now starts at $173/month, a cost of less than $28,000 if paid in full.

The decrease in cost is a result of the passing of Florida House Bill 851, which reduces the maximum annual increase of the Tuition Differential Fee to 6 percent for the University of Florida and Florida State University, and 0 percent for other state schools. If you purchased a 4-Year Florida University Plan or a 2+2 Plan between 2011 and 2014, or if you purchased a Tuition Differential Fee Plan between 2008 and 2014, you may receive a refund to account for the decrease in price.

Planning for your child’s educational future can be full of complicated choices. The experienced professionals at Leiderman Shelomith Alexander + Somodevilla, PLLC can assist you in making the right choice. Schedule a free and confidential consultation with the firm today. Call (954) 280-5066 or submit a web request here.

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