With a prepaid college plan, you can prepay for your child’s college or university education at nearly any institution in the United States.
Nine States Offering Prepaid College Plans
Florida Prepaid College Plan
The Florida Prepaid College Plan is the oldest prepaid tuition plan in the U.S. Everything you put in is guaranteed by the State of Florida, so you never lose the money you pay out. Funds used can be transferred to an in-state private institution or any out-of-state college or university.
Choose from five different plans:
- 2-Year Florida College Plan: Tuition and fees a two-year AA degree from a Florida College
- 4-Year Florida College Plan: Tuition and fees for your kid to earn a bachelor’s degree from a Florida College
- 2+2 Florida Plan: Tuition and fees for a bachelor’s degree with two years of courses at a Florida College and then two years at a Florida University
- 1-Year Florida University Plan: Tuition and fees for one year at a Florida University
- 4-Year Florida University Plan: Tuition and fees for a bachelor’s degree at a Florida University
For our more in-depth explanation of the Florida Prepaid College Plan, click here.
Illinois Prepaid College Plan
The College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program lets you purchase semesters at any Illinois public university. To open a plan, the plan owner or the beneficiary must meet the one-year Illinois residency requirement. If desired, you can transfer the plan benefits to another United States higher learning institution or international post-secondary institution that’s recognized by the United States Department of Education.
Choose from five different plans:
- Community College: Up to four semesters of in-district tuition and mandatory fees at community colleges in Illinois
- University: Covers Up to nine semesters of tuition and mandatory fees at every in-state Illinois public university except the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- University+: Up to nine semesters of tuition and mandatory fees at every Illinois public university
- 4 + 4 (University Combination Plan): Four Community College semesters and four University semesters at any Illinois public university except the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- 4 + 4 Plus (University Plus Combination Plan): Four community college semesters and four University+ semesters
Maryland Prepaid College Plan
The Maryland Prepaid College Trust lets you prepay for your child’s education through a one-time lump sum payment, equal yearly payments, 60 equal monthly payments, extended monthly payments, or a down payment. Accounts must be opened at least three years before the benefits are being paid out. The plan owner or the beneficiary must be a Maryland or DC resident at the time the account is opened.
Funds are backed by the Maryland Legislative Guarantee, which means the Governor must add funds to the state budget to pay the full plan benefit. However, it is ultimately up to the Maryland General Assembly to approve this part of the budget.
Choose from three different plans:
- University Plan: One to sixteen semesters of tuition at a four-year college
- Community College Plan: One or two years at a community college
- Two Plus Two Plan: Two years at a community college and two years at a four-year college
Massachusetts Prepaid College Plan
The Massachusetts U.Plan lets you lock in the price of tuition and fees of each year you contribute. To enroll, you must be a United States citizen or permanent resident. Plans can only be taken out for children from newborn up through 10th grade.
It works like this:
Plan owners start contributing to a U.Plan account on August 1st. On the following July 15th, the plan pays for Tuition Certificates, which cover a fixed percentage of tuition and fees at participating Massachusetts colleges and universities. For example, you pay $1,500 during year one. This equates to 10% of current tuition rates at Massachusetts state institutions. Your tuition certificate from year one will fully cover 10% of tuition costs for one year at the time of your child’s enrollment—even if tuition costs raise drastically.
Michigan Prepaid College Plan
The Michigan Education Trust 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan lets you prepay for a child’s education at a Michigan public university or community college. The beneficiary must be a Michigan resident at the time of program enrollment. The beneficiary has 15 years from the time of high school graduation to use the funds. If desired, funds can be directed to any out-of-state college, university, or community college or transferred to another immediate family member.
Choose* from three different plans:
- Full Benefits: In-state tuition and mandatory fees at any Michigan public university or tuition and mandatory fees at any Michigan public community college
- Limited Benefits: In-state tuition and mandatory fees at any Michigan public university or tuition and mandatory fees at any Michigan public community college so long as the tuition cost does not exceed 105% of the weighted average tuition of all Michigan public four-year universities
- Community College: In-district tuition and mandatory fees at any Michigan public community college
*A single beneficiary can have multiple plans, but the combined plans cannot exceed 150 credit hours (five years) of benefits.
Mississippi Prepaid College Plan
The Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (MPACT) Program prepays tuition and mandatory fees at Mississippi public universities and community colleges. Plan owners can choose from several flexible payment options: lump sum, annual payments, monthly payments, down-payment plus annual or monthly payments. Funds are guaranteed by the State of Mississippi, so you never lose what you put in.
Choose from six different plans:
- Four-Year University: In-state tuition and mandatory fees for four years (124 semester hours) at a Mississippi university
- Two-Year University: In-state tuition and mandatory fees for two years (62 semester hours) at a Mississippi university
- One-Year University: In-state tuition and mandatory fees for one year (31 semester hours) at a Mississippi university
- Two-Year Community College & Two Year University: In-state tuition and mandatory fees for two years (62 semester hours) at a Mississippi community college and two years (62 semester hours) at a Mississippi university
- Two-Year Community College: Tuition and mandatory fees for two years (62 semester hours) at a Mississippi community college
- One-Year Community College: Tuition and mandatory fees for one year (31 semester hours) at a Mississippi community college
Nevada Prepaid College Plan
The Nevada Prepaid Tuition Program lets you lock in tomorrow’s in-state Nevada tuition at today’s prices. If desired, a plan’s value can also be transferred to an out-of-state public, private, or vocational college or university that receives federal financial aid. To enroll, the purchaser or beneficiary must be a Nevada resident, or the purchaser must be a Nevada public college or university graduate. Beneficiaries must use the benefits within six years of graduting high school.
Choose from five different plans:
- 4 Year University Plan: Tuition and mandatory fees for 120 credit hours at a Nevada public university
- 2 Year University Plan: Tuition and mandatory fees for 60 credit hours at a Nevada public university
- 1 Year University Plan: Tuition and mandatory fees for 30 credit hours at a Nevada public university
- 2 Year Community College Plan: Tuition and mandatory fees for 60 credit hours at a Nevada community college
- 2 Year Community College + 2 Year University Plan: Tuition and mandatory fees for 60 credit hours at a Nevada community college and 60 credit hours at a Nevada public university
Texas Prepaid College Plan
The Texas Tuition Promise Fund lets you prepay tuition and school-wide required fees at most public colleges and universities in Texas. Plan owners purchase tuition units that can be redeemed for tuition and mandatory fees at different public institutions in Texas. The units’ values are determined by the type of unit and the cost of college at the time benefits are redeemed. If desired, a plan’s value can be transferred to another out-of-state public or any eligible private university. However, plan funds are only guaranteed by Texas’ public colleges.
Choose from three different types of tuition units:
- Type 1 (most expensive): 100 units is equivalent to 30 semester hours (one year) at the most expensive Texas public college or university
- Type 2: Redeemed to pay the weighted average cost of undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees for full-time, in-state students at all four-year Texas colleges and universities
- Type 3 (least expensive): Redeemed to pay the weighted average cost of in-district undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees at two-year Texas public colleges
Washington Prepaid College Plan
The Washington Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) is a state-guaranteed IRS 529 Qualified Tuition Program. Either the student or plan owner must be a Washington resident at the time of enrollment. Plan owners purchase GET units, which have a fixed yearly price and can be redeemed to cover future college costs. One-hundred GET units always covers one-year of full-time, undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees at the priciest public university in Washington. Plan owners can purchase anywhere from 1 to 800 GET units per student to cover tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board costs.
Choose between three different plans:
- Lump Sum Plan (pay as you go): Contribute any amount of money you want when you want
- Custom Monthly Plan (fixed monthly payments): Lock in the current unit price and make equal monthly payments throughout your contract
- Combination of Custom Monthly and Lump Sum: The Custom Monthly Plan plus additional lump sum unit payments
Closed Prepaid College Savings Programs
Several other states used to offer Prepaid Tuition Plans, but these programs closed due the high costs. States with closed programs include Alabama, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Kentucky’s plan closed in 2004, but the website states that the plan is reassessed on an annual basis.
Alternatives to Prepaid College Plans
If your state doesn’t offer a prepaid college plan, you can save for your child’s education with a 529 college savings plan. A 529 college savings plan operates as an investment account, but the earnings are tax-free if you use the funds for qualifying educational expenses like college tuition. A U.S. citizen can enroll in any of the state-sponsored 529 college savings plans regardless of their state of residency. Learn more about your 529 options here.
Compare the Best Student Loan Refinance Rates
Here are our top student loan refinance picks for 2019
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Student Debt Relief Loan Refinancing Advertiser Disclosure
“College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. (1)College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine. (2)The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. (3)$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. (4)This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. Information advertised valid as of 12/14/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.”
ELFI: Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify for refinancing or student loans consolidation through ELFI, you must have at least $15,000 in student loan debt and must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved post-secondary institution.
LendKey: Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
CommonBond: Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate.
Splash Financial: Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval.com
Earnest: To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest’s fixed-rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with autopay) to 7.89% APR (with autopay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with autopay) to 7.27% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms of 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 0.26% and 5.03% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 23, 2019 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay Discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/23/19. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice.
Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 303 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.