September is Grandparent Appreciation Month, a time to celebrate the special bond between grandparents and their grandchildren. Grandparents play a vital role in their grandchildren’s lives, providing love, support, and guidance. A few of the things that grandparents bring to their grandchildren’s lives are:
- Unconditional love and support
- Wisdom and experience
- Fun and laughter
- A sense of belonging
And, did you know that Florida’s new Grandparent waiver gives a tuition break to out of state students whose grandparents are Florida residents?
What Is Florida’s New Grandparent Waiver?
It’s not uncommon for lifelong residents of other states to retire to Florida to enjoy our exceptional weather and lifestyle. And, it’s not unusual for high school seniors to choose a Florida college so they can enjoy the Florida experience while getting an education! A new Florida law creates a ‘grandparent waiver’ that gives in-state university tuition to students who have Florida grandparents.
Grandchildren of Florida residents could save a significant amount of money on college tuition by attending certain universities in the state with the Grandparent Waiver. For example, the difference between out-of-state and in-state tuition at the University of Florida is $22,278 per year.
Bill sponsor Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, said:
“People who come to Florida and get sand in between their toes tend to stay here. We want to get very high-performing students to come to Florida and join our workforce.”
The “grandparent tuition waiver,” gives out-of-state students who earn a designated SAT or ACT score and meet other requirements set forth by the Florida Board of Governors eligibility to have out-of-state tuition fees waived if they have a grandparent who legally resides in Florida.
- The waiver is available for Florida’s 12 public universities.
- The waiver applies to 110% of a degree program’s required credit hours.
- Students must score no lower than the 89th national percentile: in 2022, 1340 total SAT score or 29 ACT comparable score to be eligible.
- Students must apply for the waiver separately at each school.
- Students must apply as a first-year student to be a full-time undergraduate student for the summer or fall term immediately following high school graduation.
- The law requires schools to award the waivers on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Waivers awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, including the Grandparent Waiver, may not be combined with other admissions merit-based scholarships.
The Grandparent Waiver Instructions and Application are available at each of the 12 Florida public universities’ Admissions Office.
You Can Provide For Your Grandchild’s Education In Your Estate Plan
There are a few different ways to provide for your grandchild’s education in your Estate Plan, including:
- Creating a trust:
A trust is a legal document that allows you to set aside assets for your grandchild’s education. You can choose a trustee to manage the trust and make decisions about how the funds are used.
- Making a gift:
You can also make a gift to your grandchild’s education savings account, such as a 529 plan. This type of account offers tax advantages and can be used to pay for qualified education expenses, such as tuition, room and board, and fees.
- Naming your grandchild as a beneficiary:
You can also name your grandchild as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy or retirement account. This means that they will receive the funds after you pass away.
Which option is best for you will depend on your individual circumstances and goals. It is important to speak with an experienced Florida Estate Planning Attorney to discuss your options and create a plan that meets your needs.
Call THE South Florida Estate Planning Attorneys – The Siegel Law Group
If you want to provide for your grandchildren and other loved ones in your Will, it’s important to speak with an experienced South Florida Estate Planning Attorney. The attorneys at The Siegel Law Group can guide you through the best ways to bequeath your assets after you are gone or to make a gift while you are living and can see them benefit from your gift.
Call our office at 561-576-6206 for a complimentary consultation, or submit our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.