SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— The last day to lock in February prices for the College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program is Sunday, February 28, and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) says now is the time to save for future college tuition and fees through the program.
“As Financial Aid Awareness Month in the State of Illinois draws to a close, now is the time for families to explore prepaid tuition as a means to save money for college while saving money on college as this month’s incentives to start saving for college expire Sunday,” said ISAC Executive Director Andrew Davis.
Prices adjust on the first day of each new month, every month, so it pays to purchase sooner rather than later. Unlike a college savings plan, the College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program is the tax-advantaged plan that protects families from tuition inflation by allowing purchasers to lock in a price now to cover future college tuition and fees. A child born today is projected to incur college costs of more than $180,000 at a four-year, public university, but parents and grandparents can sign a prepaid tuition contract today for much less, negating the effect of tuition inflation on their pocketbooks.
Prepaid tuition benefits keep pace with the increases in tuition and fees equal to those found at in-state, public institutions. Parents and grandparents can purchase as little as one semester at a community college to nine semesters at a public university. Various payment options are available, including monthly and annual installments.
"With multiple pricing options and a variety of payment plans, it’s easy to find a plan that fits the needs of your family,” continued Davis. "By locking in prices for tuition and fees today, parents are able to better plan for a fixed cost to attend college. Start out small with a semester or a year; you can always add on later."
A College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program contract between the purchaser and the state of Illinois ensures tuition and fee benefits for college, regardless of fluctuations in the market. When a beneficiary is ready to go to college, he or she can choose to attend almost anywhere because benefits can be used at Illinois public universities and community colleges or applied at most public and private institutions nationwide.
Parents and grandparents can purchase this secure option for their child’s educational future at the lowest prices today by visiting www.529prepaidtuition.org, or call toll-free at (877) 877-3724 for program information, materials and enrollment guidelines. Current prices end February 28, 2010.
Administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program is a secure college funding option because benefits do not fluctuate with the stock market. Since the program’s inception in 1998, more than 66,000 prepaid tuition contracts with a value of more than $1.6 billion have been purchased. 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.