Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Florida Prepaid College Program vs. Charlie Crist

Charlie Crist’s new plan to balance the state budget on the back of college students isn’t exactly receiving rave reviews around the state.  Stanley G. Tate, the 80-year old guru of the widely successful Florida Pre-Paid College Program, has pledged to spend $500,000 of his own money fighting the Governor’s proposal that would allow six universities to increase their tuition by up to 15% each year.  From the Palm Beach Post:

“It’s going to cost a lot of money to do this, and I’ll spend as much as I need to because this is my legacy,” Tate said about the program, which in 2006 was renamed the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program. “People don’t understand, 20 years from now, what this will mean.”

Florida Prepaid sells contracts that allow parents to lock in today’s college prices for future tuition and fees. The plans can be paid for in one lump sum or monthly installments. More than 881,000 children have had plans purchased for them since the beginning of the program in 1988.

The program, which has assets of $8 billion, traditionally has invested conservatively with the assumption that tuition would increase on average between 6 percent and 6.5 percent annually.

But that restriction, and other factors, have pushed lawmakers to keep tuition low, and Florida university tuition and fees are now thousands of dollars below national averages. With state funding for higher education waning, school presidents have fought harder than ever to gain the ability to increase their own tuition above what is set each year by lawmakers. Current Florida tuition and fees for a 30-credit year range between $3,711 and $3,919, depending on the school.



Filed under: Florida, Florida Politics, , , ,

5 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. John Gault says:

    You know, education aint free!

  2. gatorblue says:

    I don’t think anyone who is PAYING into Florida prepaid thinks it is free. Lol. Interesting article and falls into line with the common complaint about Crist. He will sacrifice ANYTHING on the altar of his political future -even the children of florida.

  3. why says:

    well, if you think about it the entire plan is a big ponzi scheme… somebody has to pay the bill eventually. Getting more money up front doesnt work unless you invest it well which is pretty impossible these days.

    Also despite all the grants and private money colleges and universities get the tuition never goes down.

    Funny how there is always enough money to field a football team.

  4. gatorblue says:

    Florida Prepaid is an investment plan. You pay into the fund and the fund invests your contributions to grow that money into an amount that will cover the cost of college when your child needs it. It is absolutely not a Ponzi scheme. I’m not sure where that came from at all…

    As far as football stadiums go…most of the college ones are paid for via donations and ticket sales.

  5. […] first reported on Mr. Tate during his fight with the Governor over a proposal to ”borrow” College Prepaid Funds to cover the hole in Florida’s […]

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