CHICAGO — Families of Illinois college-bound students received good news recently with the reopening of the College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan. The program — which now has 52,000 active participants — enables families to avoid tuition inflation and increasing student loan debt by prepaying for college while enjoying tax advantages.
To mark the resumption of sales, College Illinois! contracts will be offered at 2011 rates until Dec. 31.
“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 future.”
Since its inception in 1997, College Illinois! 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 College Illinois! beneficiaries have opted to attend college in Illinois, the program’s benefits can be used at public and private colleges throughout the country.