Illinois families looking to find an affordable way to start tackling the costs of college will have an additional month to take advantage of 2014-15 reduced pricing on all College Illinois!® Prepaid Tuition Program contracts. The state’s only 529 prepaid tuition program, College Illinois! offers families a way to “freeze” the cost of tuition by prepaying for future college tuition at today’s contract rates. With pricing on all contracts reduced, some by as much as 29%, families now have through June 1st to start planning for their child’s future for as little as $21 a month.

“We want to provide families every opportunity to begin addressing the cost of college as early as possible with a College Illinois! prepaid tuition contract,” said Eric Zarnikow, executive director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the state agency that administers the College Illinois! Program. “The program offers flexibility and significant tax advantages, and most people don’t realize that benefits can be used at almost any college or university in the country. Especially around this time of year, if families are receiving a tax refund, we want them to have the opportunity to put some of it towards the cost of college through a College Illinois! plan.”

The 2014-15 enrollment period opened over a month later than during the past several enrollment periods, in order to implement the price reductions. With national “529 Day”—a day at the end of May to raise awareness of the value of 529 plans—and additional opportunities to reach out to potential contract holders coming later in the enrollment period, the extension of the enrollment period will allow more families an opportunity to learn about the program and take the time they need to make an enrollment decision.

“Earlier this spring we asked our current contract holders to share their stories with us about their experience with College Illinois!” said Zarnikow. “The response was overwhelming—more than 100 current contract holders told us about how the program made the difference in making college a reality for their children and grandchildren, and you can see some of their stories on the College Illinois! website. We want to give every family in Illinois the opportunity to invest in their child or grandchild’s future.”

“We bought our first plan for our youngest son when he was in grade school,” said Darrell Runyon, a College Illinois! contract holder.  “That has proven to be the best investment we have ever made . . . Our experience was so positive that we have bought a plan for one of our grandchildren.”

College Illinois! has helped more than 28,000 students attend college by providing affordable options for planning for the cost of college. Find out more, and enroll through June 1st, at

About College Illinois!

Since its inception in 1998, College Illinois! has been focused on providing an affordable option to help make college a reality for Illinois families. Administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the state’s 529 prepaid tuition program offers a unique set of benefits, including tuition inflation protection, flexibility, and significant tax benefits. Program assets, which are held in the Illinois Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund and kept separate from all public moneys and State funds, are professionally managed by an experienced team led by a Chief Investment Officer and established third party asset managers. More information on plan options and benefits, as well as a complete description of terms and conditions of, and risks associated with the purchase of a contract, is available at

Chapin Rose

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