'College Illinois!' Prepaid Tuition Program enrollment runs through
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DEERFIELD -- Illinois families
can combat the high cost of postsecondary education and start to
tame tuition inflation by purchasing College Illinois! Prepaid
Tuition Program contracts between Oct. 1, 2013, and April 30, 2014.
Since 1998, families across the state have purchased over 72,000 of
these contracts as one tool to help pay the increasing cost of
higher education and limit costly student loan debt.
"Since the program's first enrollment period in 1998, College
Illinois! has paid out approximately $470 million in tuition and
mandatory fees," said Eric Zarnikow, executive director of the
Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the state agency that
administers the program. "We take great satisfaction knowing that
College Illinois! has helped over 25,000 Illinois students attend a
postsecondary institution, and has done so by making every tuition
payment on behalf of program beneficiaries in-full and on time."
With the start of the new open enrollment period, the tuition
program has simplified pricing and payment options, making
participation easier than ever.
"To help make the benefits of a prepaid tuition program more
accessible, we've simplified the program," Zarnikow said. "In 2011,
someone considering the purchase of a College Illinois! contract had
to work through nearly 30 pages and hundreds of pricing and payment
alternatives. Purchasers told us enrollment was too complicated and
confusing. This year, pricing and payment options are contained on
just three pages."
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The tuition program's open enrollment period is supported by a
fresh look, including a new logo that instantly conveys the
program's educational mission and a reimagined website,
www.529prepaidtuition.org, offering visitors easy access to
program benefit information and interactive tools to help determine
if the plan is a suitable option for their family situation. The
website also provides quick access to the plan's disclosure
statement and master agreements, useful financial information, and
"Approximately 95 percent of College Illinois! applications start
online, so making relevant information more readily available is a
high priority for us this enrollment period. New tools and features
will be added throughout the enrollment period," Zarnikow said.
Illinois Student Assistance
file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]
Established in 1957, ISAC's mission is
to help make college accessible and affordable for Illinois students
through administration of need-based grant and scholarship programs,
outreach efforts across the state and by offering College Illinois!,
the state's 529 prepaid tuition plan. The commission has distributed
more than $10.4 billion in grants, scholarships and non-loan aid to
over 4.8 million Illinois students and families.