SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 17 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — There is still time to halt college tuition inflation without subjecting any dollars to the volatility of the stock market prior to the College Illinois!(SM) general enrollment deadline of April 30. Program prices will never be lower for the state’s only 529 prepaid tuition program.
“By purchasing a contract for a child today, parents and grandparents never have to worry about the cost of college in the future,” said Andrew Davis, executive director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. “Because our plans are based on the current cost of tuition at Illinois public institutions, purchasing before April 30 guarantees the lowest rate possible.”
The primary reason 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 in College Illinois! today for much less and lock in their cost, effectively stopping tuition inflation.
“College Illinois! is similar to an insurance policy because it protects contract holders from tuition inflation. Annual tuition hikes will no longer impact what they are going to pay for their children’s college education. Plus, money invested is not subject to the instability of the stock market,” Davis said.
Applications are available on the program’s Web site: collegeillinois.com. Interested families can register online in about 10 minutes. One-on-one, live customer support assistance is also available on the site during business hours. College Illinois! recommends that those without online access call the program toll-free at (877) 877-3724.
Additional College Illinois! Contract Benefits & Details
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.*
A new tiered pricing system, SmartChoice, introduced at the launch of general enrollment in October, 2008, makes plans 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.
College Illinois! is open for enrollment through April 30, 2009. For more information about College Illinois!, or to enroll in the program, visit www.collegeillinois.com or call (877) 877-3724.
About College Illinois! and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission:
Administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), College Illinois! is a secure college funding option. Similar to an insurance policy, College Illinois! is a contract between the purchaser and the state of Illinois that ensures tuition and fee benefits for college.
Since the program’s inception in 1998, more than 62,500 prepaid tuition contracts with a value of more than $1.4 billion have been purchased. The program’s Trust Fund is managed by professional money managers and is subject to oversight by the program’s Investment Advisory Panel 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 for Illinois students by issuing 185,000 grants and scholarships totaling more than $448 million. Students and families have free access to a wealth of financial aid and college planning information at ISAC’s family of websites at: www.knowhow2GOIllinois.org.
* 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!