· The Florida Prepaid Scholarship Program will award 10 winners a 2-Year Florida College Plan, each valued at more than $8,000.
· Florida residents with children or grandchildren between the ages of newborn - 8th grade can enter online to win between September 25 and October 29, 2017.
· The scholarships are part of the Florida Prepaid College Foundation's ongoing commitment during National College Savings Month to increase awareness about the importance of saving for college and the affordable options available.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Prepaid College Foundation will award two free years of college to 10 Florida families, through the Florida Prepaid Scholarship Program that launched today. The annual scholarship program runs between September 25 and October 29, 2017. The program coincides with National College Savings Month and will conclude just after the mid-October launch of Open Enrollment, the annual period when families can purchase Florida Prepaid College Plans.
Participants can register to win at www.floridaprepaidscholarshipprogram.com and will have opportunities to earn extra entries by participating in daily and weekly activities to learn more about saving for college.
The program educates families about the fact that there is a better way to save for college through tax-advantaged 529 College Savings Plans. 529 Plans were designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs. The plans are named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code that authorizes the plans. Both Florida Prepaid College Plans and Florida 529 Savings Plans are qualified 529 plans and provide easy ways to start saving for college today.
"We encourage all eligible Florida families to enter this scholarship program," said Florida Prepaid College Board Chairman John D. Rood. "It is a way to learn more about the college savings options available to families, and to start implementing a plan to reduce or avoid student loan debt for their children.
According to the Federal Reserve, reported student debt across the U.S. stands at about $1.4 trillion. In Florida, the average debt load for those with college loans is more than $23,000.
The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce projects that 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school. Florida officials project that by 2018, nearly 60 percent of all jobs in Florida will require postsecondary education.
"A college degree is a gateway to a lifetime of earnings and career potential," said Cynthia O'Connell, Director of the Florida Prepaid College Foundation. "We look forward to giving the gift of college to 10 winners, and hope every eligible family will enter. Our state colleges present a wonderful opportunity for a strong education."
The scholarship contest also comes as Florida officials prepare for an increase in state college enrollment for the first time since 2010 - an uptick that reflects the rising number of two- and four-year degree programs offered in the 28 colleges.
Florida Prepaid's 2-Year Florida College Plan covers tuition and other specified fees for 60 lower division credit hours at a Florida College. This plan offers a child the opportunity to earn an associate's degree or trade certification in any number of fields and is an excellent springboard to a fulfilling career or further education. A student earning an associate's degree from a Florida College is guaranteed admission to a State University in Florida.
The 2-Year Florida College Plan is one of five available Florida Prepaid College Plans, which all include tuition and other specified fees. A family can pay for Plans all at once or in monthly installments. Studies show that children with dedicated college savings are 2.5 times more likely to enroll in and graduate from college than children with no account.
Prepaid Plans are available for purchase during Open Enrollment, which begins October 15, 2017 and ends February 28, 2018. For more information, visit www.myfloridaprepaid.com
The Florida Prepaid Scholarship Program starts today and will end on October 29, so enter now and come back daily to earn more chances to win! www.floridaprepaidscholarshipprogram.com
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.