Give the gift of education with a College Illinois!® 529 prepaid tuition plan
Purchase before December 31st for more savings

Send a link to a friend  Share

[December 28, 2015]  CHICAGO – Sure they’ll love the latest Star Wars™ toy—for now—but if you want to give your child or grandchild the kind of gift that will give them an advantage throughout their lives, consider the gift of education through the College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program. When you purchase a College Illinois! plan, which allows you to prepay future college tuition, you invest in your child’s future. And when you buy before December 31, 2015, you can take advantage of last year’s plan pricing, before prices increase on most plans.

“College Illinois! was one of the best investments we ever made,” said Sandra Archambeau. The Archambeaus purchased a College Illinois! plan for their daughter when she was just three years old—she’s now a sophomore in college and a music major. “Purchasing a plan early on gave us the certainty that we would not have to worry about college costs as we got older. Most important, between College Illinois! benefits that cover tuition and mandatory fees, and scholarships our daughter earned that cover other expenses, she will be able to graduate from college debt free. And that is truly a priceless gift!”

College tuition and mandatory fees at Illinois public universities have more than doubled in the last decade, and that can create a lot of uncertainty for families trying to find a way to plan for college. A College Illinois! 529 prepaid plan can significantly reduce the uncertainty about how much college will cost by allowing families to purchase semesters now at today’s College Illinois! plan rates. With a College Illinois! plan, families can rest easy knowing that no matter how high tuition rates climb by the time their student is ready to attend college, tuition and mandatory fees are covered for the schools in their plan. And College Illinois! isn’t just for Illinois schools: the value of plan benefits can be applied to private and out-of-state schools.

Purchasing a plan now can also provide end-of-year tax benefits. As a qualified 529 prepaid tuition plan, College Illinois! offers federal and state tax advantages: benefits are exempt from state and federal taxes and there’s an Illinois state income tax deduction for contributions up to $10,000 ($20,000 per couple filing jointly). And like other 529 plans, there’s a federal gift-giving tax exemption as well.

Anyone can buy or contribute to a College Illinois! plan, as long as the purchaser or the beneficiary is a resident of Illinois. For grandparents, a College Illinois! plan can be the ultimate gift and a great legacy to create for their grandchildren. Indeed, 15 to 20% of College Illinois! plan holders are grandparents.

“When my grandchildren were little, I was able to buy College Illinois! plans for the four of them over a five year monthly payment program,” said Kathy O’Malley. “Now the oldest is at NYU and the College Illinois! funds are a big help. Another will be college-bound in the fall, a third in another year, and the fact that College Illinois! funds will be there makes a big difference. What a wonderful program and certainly one of the best gifts I could ever have given my family.”

[to top of second column]

This fall alone, over 10,000 students are using College Illinois! benefits to attend the school of their choice, including private and out-of-state institutions. Since its inception, the Program has paid out over $725 million in benefits. To give your student the gift of a lifetime and the opportunity to join the over 30,000 students who have attended college using College Illinois! benefits, visit and take advantage of last year’s pricing by buying before December 31st.

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 College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program offers a unique set of benefits, including protection from tuition inflation, flexibility, and significant tax benefits. Program assets, which are held in the Illinois Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund and kept separate from all public moneys or funds of the state, are professionally managed by an experienced team led by a Chief Investment Officer and established third party asset managers. By law, College Illinois! funds can only be used to pay benefits on behalf of plan beneficiaries and to pay the costs of running the Program.

More information on plan options and benefits, as well as a complete description of terms and conditions associated with the purchase of a plan, is available at

[Lynne Baker, College Illinois!]



Back to top