Stanley G. Tate
The Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program
To provide Florida families with an affordable means to save for their children’s
future college education, the Florida Legislature created the Florida Prepaid College
Program in 1987, and the first Florida Prepaid College Plans were sold in 1988.
Mr. Stanley G. Tate was instrumental in the early development of the Florida Prepaid
College Board and served tirelessly as Chairman of the Board during the program’s
first 18 years, from 1987 to 2005.
In recognition of Mr. Tate’s service, Governor Jeb Bush signed House Bill
263 into law on June 26, 2006, renaming the program the Stanley G. Tate Florida
Prepaid College Program. The Prepaid College Board is grateful for Mr. Tate’s
commitment and leadership throughout his years of service.
Highlights of Mr. Tate’s leadership include:
- Governor Bob Martinez kicked-off the first enrollment period on September 22, 1988
by purchasing the first two Florida Prepaid College Plan contracts for his twin
granddaughters. The program sold 58,651 tuition and dormitory contracts in its first
year. That same year, Mr. Tate reflected in the program’s first Annual Report,
“We are embarking upon a path that is revolutionizing how Floridians plan
for financing their children’s college education.”
- In 1989, two years ahead of schedule, Mr. Tate presented the State of Florida a
check for $600,000, repaying a start-up loan made by the Legislature to help launch
the program. From this point forward, the program has remained fully self-supporting.
- In 1990, the Florida Legislature created the Stanley Tate Project STARS scholarship
program under the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Foundation. Project STARS redirects the
lives of low-income students who are at risk of dropping out of school by providing
them with the opportunity of a college education.
- In 1992, the Florida Prepaid College Plan reached a new program record, with more
than 200,000 contracts sold since the program’s inception.
- Two years later, in 1994, investments in the Florida Prepaid College Plan topped
- Complementing the popular tuition plan, a new supplemental prepaid plan covering
other mandatory college fees, known as local fees, was introduced in 1998. Nearly
20,000 customers purchased the new plan in the first year.
- In a landmark case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Board in two lawsuits
alleging patent infringement and unfair competition.
- Throughout the first 12 years of operation, Mr. Tate was instrumental in making
the Prepaid College Plan more flexible by allowing families to use their plan benefits
at any qualified out-of-state college or university, by providing payment waivers
to military families and victims of hurricanes, by allowing the transfer of dormitory
benefits to community college residential facilities, and by allowing the use of
plan benefits at public vocational/technical schools in Florida.
- Under Mr. Tate’s leadership, in 2002, the Board created the Florida 529 Savings
Plan (formerly the Florida College Investment Plan), providing families with another way to save for college tuition,
fees, housing and other college expenses. Prepaid College Plan sales exceeded the
half-million mark this year.
- With Mr. Tate’s guidance, the Board helped champion the federal legislation
that exempts earnings on qualified withdrawals from the Prepaid College Plan and
the 529 Savings Plan from federal income tax.
- Already the largest plan of its kind in the nation, the Florida Prepaid College
Plan set another enrollment record in 2005, with one million plans sold. At a ceremony
to mark this historic triumph, the Board surprised the Orlando family who purchased
the one millionth plan with a Florida Prepaid scholarship. Mr. Tate proudly announced,
“Reaching one million plans is an extraordinary accomplishment. Our success
is a tribute to Florida families, to Governor Bush and the Florida Legislature,
and to all those over the last 17 years who have united to support the program and
to make college more affordable. Having now surpassed the one million mark, Florida
families have answered loud and clear that providing an affordable college education
for their children is a priority for themselves and for the state.”
- At the Florida Cabinet meeting on November 8, 2005, Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida
Cabinet issued a resolution recognizing Mr. Tate’s exemplary record of professional
and dedicated service to the families and children of the state of Florida. As stated
in the resolution, “Stanley Tate should be credited for his contributions
in providing leadership and guidance to numerous education, charitable and community
organizations for the benefit of families and children, championing the establishment
of the Florida Prepaid College Program, implementing the 529 Savings Plan
and through the Prepaid College Foundation redirecting the lives of thousands of
Florida’s children by providing them with the opportunity to achieve their
true potential in life.”
While Tate served as Chairman of the Board, the Board sold 1,052,080 total contracts,
and more than 142,000 children had used their plan benefits attending a college
or university. At that time, the Prepaid College Trust Fund’s assets, including
accounts receivables, totaled $6.5 billion and had an actuarial reserve of $530
million, representing 8.9 percent of the Fund’s liabilities. In addition,
the Foundation Board awarded more than 21,000 tuition and local fee scholarships,
of them 15,472 were awarded to Stanley Tate Project STARS students, helping Florida’s
children build a better future through a college education.