To mark the resumption of sales, prepaid tuition contracts will be
offered at 2011 rates until Dec. 31, 2012.
"Because we're able to
offer this particularly low rate -- as little as $42 a month --
through the end of 2012, we're encouraging families to consider
purchasing a College Illinois contract now for their children or
grandchildren," said Eric Zarnikow, executive director of the
Illinois Student Assistance Commission, which oversees the program.
"There has never been a better time to invest in your child's
Since its inception in 1997, the program has served tens of
thousands of Illinois families and paid postsecondary institutions
nearly $400 million in tuition and fees. College savings vehicles
such as 529 plans are tax-deductible and grow tax-free. While about
75 percent of the program's beneficiaries have opted to attend
college in Illinois, the benefits can be used at public and private
colleges throughout the country.
In August Gov. Quinn signed into law
House Bill 3923, which
requires transparency in investment decision-making to protect
stakeholders. Due to this law, and a management overhaul, the
prepaid tuition program is more transparent and better positioned
for the future.
"College Illinois is a critical piece in our effort to keep
college affordable and build an educated workforce," said Quinn. "In
an era of spiraling tuition inflation and increasing student loan
debt, families can see significant savings with this program as they
plan for their children's future."
[to top of second column]
In May 2011, Quinn moved to increase accountability for the
program. He appointed new commissioners to the Illinois Student
Assistance Commission, including ISAC Chair Kym Hubbard, chief
investment officer at Ernst & Young, one of the world's top
consulting firms; and ISAC Vice Chair Miguel del Valle, former
chairman of the Illinois Senate Education Committee, who now chairs
the state's P-20 Council. The commission then named a new executive
director, chief investment officer and investment adviser, and
created investment and audit committees to ensure stronger
"Thanks to Gov. Quinn's restructuring, College Illinois is
stronger and better able to serve parents and college-bound
students," said Hubbard, chairman of the commission. "The most
difficult part of saving for college is simply starting. The sooner
you begin, the easier it gets."
A child born today is projected to incur college costs of
$180,000 at a four-year public university. The College Illinois
program allows families to lock in a price to cover future tuition
and fees. The program offers various plans that let purchasers
choose a pricing option that best fits their financial needs. The
enrollment period now open will run through April 30, 2013.
For additional information about ISAC's College Illinois! Prepaid
Tuition Program, call 877-877-3724 or visit
Illinois Student Assistance
file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]