DeSantis announces reduced Florida Prepaid prices
Families investing in the Florida Prepaid Program may get a check in the mail this week.
On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference at Florida State College in Jacksonville to announce new lower prices within the prepaid program.
“One of the priorities of my administration is to make access to higher education more affordable and obtainable,” DeSantis said. ”[Higher education has] cost some people to go into crippling debt.”
The new price cuts will lower plan prices by $1.3 billion, helping over 200,000 customers. With prices starting at $44 per month, this marks the lowest Florida Prepaid has cost in five years.
The price reductions will affect plan holders from 2008 onward, with half of those impacted getting a $4,700 check in the mail and the other half seeing reduced payments that began Monday.
“The beauty of what we do is we take a long-term approach. We make long-term policy decisions,” Florida Prepaid College Board Chairman John Rood said. “We started looking at this about a year ago. Our number one priority is to preserve the integrity of the system.”
This is Gov. DeSantis’ latest education initiative in Florida.
Last year, DeSantis rolled out proposals for an increased minimum teachers’ salary as well as a new teacher bonus program. The governor also previously visited Jacksonville to discuss expanded workforce development programs between financial technology companies and state colleges.
“This will enhance Florida’s legacy,” DeSantis said at the news conference. “This is a reputation we’ve been building for a long time.”
As DeSantis discussed the cost of education, teachers from across Florida were in Tallahassee holding a rally to demand better school funding and pay. Some districts, such as Polk County, threatened sanctions toward teachers who participated.
When asked about the rally and potential sanctions, DeSantis encouraged teachers to talk to local legislators.
“I don’t even know the details of what’s going on,” he said. “I hope that people look to see and talk to their legislators for our [increased teacher salary] plan.”
DeSantis touted that his plan to increase teachers’ minimum salary would raise the state’s ranking for teacher pay in the nation from No. 26 to No. 2 and that his proposed bonus program is the “most generous.”
“This is something we’ve really worked hard on,” he said. “We’re working hard to get it done.”
The reduction in Florida Prepaid pricing was approved by its College Board and is now in effect.
Eligible existing customers should expect to receive notification from the board this month, according to Rood. Customers can also check for themselves by checking their online account.
Additionally, open enrollment for Florida Prepaid starts next month and the board has waived the $50 enrollment fee for throughout February when customers use the promotional code, “EARLY50.”
According to DeSantis, plan holders have the option of transferring the savings to a savings plan that can be applied toward additional college expenses, such as rent and textbooks.
“This price reduction is great news for hardworking Florida families,” DeSantis said. “I’m happy to announce we have a first-rate savings plan.”
This story originally published to jacksonville.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the new Gannett Media network.