Florida Prepaid College program offers refunds as families in need look to rebound

Posted at 6:43 PM, Sep 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-21 17:32:29-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — More than $225 million are up for grabs across Florida thanks to a program designed to help families save for college that could help you rebound from the pandemic right now.

One local mom got money back from Florida Prepaid. Thousands of other families working to make ends meet could have money waiting for them too.

"We're savers," said Meghan Collins. "We're big savers, so we're going to save it."

Collins says saving for her children's college education is a priority.

"Education is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children," Collins said.

It is a gift she plans on giving to her son, who is four, and daughter who just turned two, years from now thanks to the Florida Prepaid College saving program.

"I actually saw it in the news," said Collins.

Earlier this year, that program began offering refunds to families paying into it.

"We had rolled back prices to the lowest in five years because we saw that tuition prices had been steady," said Shannon Colavecchio, a spokesperson for Florida Prepaid College Board. "We have about 30,000 families of the original 100,000 who got that refund in Jan."

Collins was one of those early families.

Now, the need could be much greater for thousands of others months later.

"Nobody really had any idea that the pandemic would be what it has become," Colavecchio said.

Colavecchio says to pay close attention to emails and check to see if you have money waiting for you.

"We really are hoping that families see this and know that it is real," said Colavecchio. "If you think you have a refund, just go in and check."

It's helping families across Florida make ends meet while preparing for a brighter future.

"Any time that you can save some extra money, regardless of what you put it towards, it's amazing," Collins said.

The average refund available is as much as $4,700. To see if you've got money waiting for you, click here.