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Eckerd College joins growing group of private colleges to offer pre-paid tuition

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Eckerd College is joining a group of 280 private colleges and universities nationwide in the Private College 529 Plan. The plan offers families a way to pay for college for their kids at today’s rates even if their child isn’t going off to college for quite some time.

The plan is geared not only to avoid rising tuition, but also to avoid stock market volatility in safe savings plans.

“This is a great deal for families seeking to guarantee a terrific education for their children at a reasonable price,” said Eckerd President Don Eastman. “We are convinced that a liberal arts education offers the best chance to prepare students to become productive citizens in a changing world.”

Eckerd College is the seventh Florida private college to join the plan.

“This is a great deal for families seeking to guarantee a terrific education for their children at a reasonable price,” Eastman said. “We are convinced that a liberal arts education offers the best chance to prepare students to become productive citizens in a changing world.”

The plan is similar to the Florida Prepaid College 529 plan. However, Florida Prepaid serves students whose parents are planning a public education. Those plans cater more to in-state schools, but funds can be applied to out-of-state colleges as well.

The Private College 529 Plan is good at any of the participating schools regardless of where it’s located.

“It’s so wonderful that Eckerd College is joining our program during National College Savings Month,” said Nancy Farmer, president of Private College 529 Plan. “We welcome Eckerd to our growing family of private colleges and universities across the country.”

Eckerd College is located in South St. Pete off the Pinellas Bayway and along a piece of pristine waterfront. The liberal arts school, founded in 1958, teaches more than 1,800 students. Eckerd is one of only 40 schools listed in the book, “Colleges That Change Lives.”

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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