Parents & Grandparents: Enrollment Still Open for State's 529 Prepaid College Tuition Program for Children Age One or Younger

May 28, 2009, 18:18 ET from College Illinois!

College Illinois!(SM) Supports 529 College Savings Day on May 29

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) supports the national May 29 (5/29) College Savings Day by encouraging new parents and grandparents to consider a College Illinois!(SM) 529 prepaid tuition plan as the best way to save on college tuition by paying for college costs at today's rates.

"Since College Illinois! is a 529 prepaid plan, you're not saving money for college - you're actually saving money on college!" said ISAC Executive Director Andrew Davis, noting enrollment for children under one year of age continues through August 1, 2009. "To get the maximum benefit, you have to start early and lock in a child's college education at today's tuition prices."

A college education is one of the most important things a parent can provide for a child, and one of the primary reasons people invest in College Illinois! is the security the program affords. Unlike a savings plan, College Illinois! is a contract. Each contract holder is entitled to receive the tuition and fee benefits as stated in the contract, regardless of fluctuations in the market. Consider that a child born today is projected to incur college costs of more than $162,000 at a four-year, public university. But parents and grandparents can enroll newborns in College Illinois! today for much less and lock in their cost, negating the effect of tuition inflation on their pocketbooks.

"There are two things you can count on -- spiraling tuition costs and the value of a college education," continued Davis. "A College Illinois! contract is a great tool to fight tuition inflation, offering 529 tax benefits with the safety and security of a contract."

College Savings Day was established by the College Savings Plans Network to raise awareness about saving for college and highlight the benefits of 529 plans. It is held annually on May 29th.

"We sincerely hope that 529 College Savings Day helps effectively spread the word about the importance of thinking about paying for college - now," said Davis. "But saving for college is far more important than a single date. Every day is '529 day.'"

More about College Illinois! Pricing and Plans

A new tiered pricing system called SmartChoice, introduced this enrollment period, makes plans even more affordable than ever before. SmartChoice pricing provides three distinct price levels with different payment options. The plans are completely flexible and let the purchaser choose a pricing option that best matches financial needs and realities. Combination plans including four semesters at a community college and four semesters at a university level are also available. Various payment options include monthly and annual installments and multiple down payment levels. In addition, program beneficiaries can choose to attend college anywhere because benefits can be used outside of the state at public and private institutions nationwide.

Upon purchasing a contract, Illinois taxpayers can deduct up to $10,000 per individual or $20,000 for married couples filing jointly, and all plan earnings are exempt from state and federal tax exemptions.*

College Illinois! newborn enrollment is open through August 1, 2009. For more information about College Illinois!, or to enroll in the program, visit or call (877) 877-3724.

About College Illinois! and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission:

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission provides students of all ages and backgrounds with the resources and support to obtain financial aid for higher education. A state agency, ISAC has paved the path to post-secondary education with innovative programs for more than 50 years. Last year alone, ISAC continued its mission to make college affordable and accessible for Illinois students by issuing over 186,000 grants and scholarships totaling nearly $431 million.

The Commission provides educational funding with student loans, as a loan guarantor and via numerous public programs such as the successful Monetary Award Program (MAP), the Illinois Veteran Grant and College Illinois!(SM) the Commission's groundbreaking 529 prepaid college tuition program. Students and families have free access to a wealth of financial aid and college planning information at ISAC's family of websites available at and

*Neither ISAC nor College Illinois! can provide legal or tax advice. Please consult a professional tax advisor concerning federal and state tax implications or purchasing any contract.

SOURCE College Illinois!