Our Take: Florida’s prepaid refund leads to more opportunities

In an attempt to tackle the high tuition costs and expensive college resources such as books and online resources, parents can start early and gather money for their child’s college education. Through Florida Prepaid College Plan, families can pay in advance for college with a payment schedule that makes it more affordable.
This program affects and benefits many Florida families, even more now since the state announced on Jan. 13 that there will be refunds for Florida Prepaid customers. According to Tampa Bay Times, the price reduction and refunds will affect 224,000 accounts dating back to 2008. More than 108,000 plans are paid in full and can receive an average cash refund of $4,700, depending on how much was overpaid.
Along with the refunds, customers will soon have lower prices for their plans. Gov. Ron Desantis said that this was all due to “successive years of lower than anticipated tuition increases and fee inflation.”
Families will now get money back that will help them avoid debt and give them the choice to reinvest that money because while their child’s tuition is paid for, dorms, meal plans and textbooks are not.
Not only is this beneficial to the parents who have invested a lot of their money for years, but this is also a huge step for Florida’s legacy as affordable post-secondary education.
Tuition prices in Florida have gone down, and that is great news as decision season comes around for seniors and college searching begins for others. According to College Board, Florida has seen a 7% decrease in tuition rates since 2014. The good news is that Florida already had relatively cheap tuition. We have the second cheapest tuition in the United States for both in-state and out-of-state, according to Fast Web. In-state the average is $6,360 per year, and out-of-state tuition averages $21,570 per year. Plus, Florida offers Bright Future Scholarships for Florida residents who plan on attending a in-state college or university,
These low costs are a big surprise – unheard of in a time of relative prosperity. Our economy is healthy, and wages are going up. Logic would say that since we are doing so well, tuition would go up too, but the opposite has been true.
However, we do not live in a country where secondary education is free. All students have opportunities, but they do not have an equal opportunity to succeed. But, decreased tuition is a step in the right direction.
The decrease might not seem significant enough, but it could be just enough to give a student a college education, or to allow a student to attend the college that they want.
The tuition costs are still intimidating, but a little less after the announcement, which makes parents who have invested – and the students who get to attend – happy.