offered advanced savings plans during College Savings Month
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-- On behalf of the state's two tuition savings plans, College
Illinois! and Bright Start Savings, Gov. Rod Blagojevich has
proclaimed September as "College Savings Month" in Illinois. Both
programs help families save money now for the future cost of sending
their children to college.
"A college education is more important
now than ever before. Most parents understand that, but many don't
know about options available to them to help prepare for future
tuition costs," said the governor. "We have two great programs here
in Illinois that help parents save ahead to give their children
access to higher education."
College Illinois, the state's prepaid
tuition program, offers families the opportunity to prepay college
tuition now at rates significantly less than future college costs.
When the students attend an Illinois public university or community
college, their tuition and mandatory fee charges are already paid.
An equivalent tuition benefit is paid when the student attends a
private or out-of-state college. More than 23,000 families have
purchased 42,000 prepaid tuition contracts through the program,
representing a commitment of more than $700 million.
Administered by the Illinois Student
Assistance Commission, the program's seventh annual enrollment
period will open on Oct 27, 2004, and extend through March 31, 2005.
Information is available at
www.collegeillinois.com or by calling toll-free 1 (877)
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Bright Start, a college savings program
administered by State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, allows families
to open investment accounts and then use those savings and earnings
from the account to pay for qualified educational expenses at any
college. Qualified expenses include tuition and fees, as well as
expenses such as room and board or textbooks and supplies. Since its
inception in March 2000, more than 109,543 accounts have been
opened, with over $1.051 billion invested for college savings.
More information on the Bright Start
savings program can be found at
www.brightstartsavings.com or by calling 877-43 BRIGHT
[1 (877) 432-7444].
Savings Plans Network of the National Association of State
Treasurers has encouraged every state to declare September 2004 as
College Savings Month as a way to encourage families to plan ahead
for the cost of college attendance. Section 529 state college
savings programs are available in all 50 states and provide an
affordable way for most families to save. Through state-sponsored
college savings programs, parents and grandparents can take
financial responsibility for the cost of college rather than
depending on government entitlement programs or burdening students
with student loan debt.
from the governor's office]