SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 21 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Time is running out for Illinois families to save on future college costs by enrolling in College Illinois!(SM), the state’s 529 prepaid tuition program. The good news is there is still enough time to halt college tuition inflation prior to the general enrollment deadline of April 29. Program prices will never be lower than they are right now.
“Families interested in enrolling in College Illinois! have a great opportunity to prepay the cost of their children’s future college tuition,” said Randy Erford, director of College Illinois!. “Because prices on College Illinois! plans are adjusted to keep pace with tuition at Illinois public institutions, families can pay for their children’s tuition at a much lower rate now than what it will be in the future.”
The reality of tuition rates is that they are rising much faster than other goods and services. In fact, tuition is rising twice as fast as general inflation. Next to a house, a child’s college tuition will most likely be the most expensive purchase a family makes. Consider that a child born today is projected to incur college costs of more than $147,000 at a four-year, public university. But parents and grandparents can enroll in College Illinois! today for much less and lock in their cost stopping tuition inflation.
“College Illinois! is much like an insurance policy because it provides families with protection from tuition inflation. Families who enroll now will enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that annual tuition hikes will no longer impact what they are going to pay for their children’s college education. Plus, the program works at just about any school their children choose-not just Illinois schools,” Erford said.
Applications are available at 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 at the site in real-time during business hours. College Illinois! recommends that those without online access call the program toll-free at (877) 877-3724.
Those who enroll will benefit from a tax deduction that allows Illinois taxpayers to deduct College Illinois! contributions (up to $10,000 per year for individuals; $20,000 for married couples) from their state taxable income. There are other tax advantages to participating in the program. Plan earnings are 100 percent exempt from state and federal income taxes. Purchasers also enjoy federal gift and estate tax benefits.
Administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, College Illinois! is a secure college funding option because benefits do not fluctuate with the stock market. College Illinois! is a contract between the purchaser and the state of Illinois that ensures tuition and fee benefits for college. When a beneficiary is ready to go to school, he or she can choose to attend college anywhere because benefits can be used not only at Illinois public universities and community colleges, but at public and private institutions nationwide as well.
College Illinois! benefits keep pace with the increases in tuition and fees equal to those found at in-state, public institutions. Participants can purchase from one semester at a community college to nine semesters at a public university. Various payment options are available, including monthly and annual installments and down payment options.
Since the program’s inception in 1998, more than 57,000 prepaid tuition contracts with a value of more than $1 billion have been purchased. College Illinois! is secured by the state of Illinois. The program’s Trust Fund is managed by professional money managers, subject to oversight by the program’s Investment Advisory Panel and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.
For more information about College Illinois!, or to enroll in the program, visit collegeillinois.com or call (877) 877-3724.