$225 million in Florida Prepaid refunds not yet claimed

Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 10:14 PM CDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - The economic hardships caused by the pandemic are far from over and a second round of direct stimulus payments still has yet to be approved, but 30,000 Floridians who have bought into the Florida Prepaid college savings program have a refund waiting for them that has not been claimed.

More than $225 million is still sitting on the table.

Back in January, Florida Prepaid first announced it would be refunding $500 million to roughly 100,000 Floridians who bought into the program after 2008.

That’s because the cost of tuition has remained stagnant for the past six years.

“So we basically said wow, people that were buying those plans in the past few years actually don’t need to be paying as much in as we thought,” said Florida Prepaid Spokesperson, Shannon Colavecchio.

Colavecchio told us almost nine months later, nearly half of the money hasn’t been claimed.

On average, customers are leaving $4,700 on the table.

“I mean I don’t know anybody that could not use an extra $4,700 right now. You know, whether you’re unemployed or maybe other things have gotten cut back, whatever that looks like. Maybe you’re homeschooling now and you need laptops for three kids,” said Colavecchio.

And even if you think you may have claimed your money, we learned while working on this story, it doesn’t hurt to double check.

Tallahassee mother of two Nicole Albers thought she’d moved her refund into a 529 savings plan for her kids’ college.

“With the additional 529 savings, we can pay for things like books and dormitories and other college expenses that aren’t necessarily tied to tuition,” said Albers.

But when she was preparing for our interview, she realized she hadn’t finished the process.

“Very pleased to see today that I still had the option to apply it to the 529 savings account,” said Albers.

And while the refund can be returned as cash, Florida Prepaid is encouraging parents to follow Nicole’s lead and consider reinvesting the money in their children’s college education.

You can find instructions to see if you have a refund available

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