SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— It’s no April fool’s joke. A child born today is projected to incur college costs of more than $180,000 at a four-year, public university.
As reported in the 2009 Trends in Higher Education report published by the College Board, tuition throughout the United States has increased an average of 4.9 percent, faster than the increase of the two previous decades. In Illinois, tuition has averaged an almost eight percent increase each year for the last 20 years. Fortunately, Illinois residents can sign a College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program contract today, negating the effect of tuition inflation on their pocketbooks.
"By locking in prices for tuition and fees today, parents are able to better plan for a fixed cost to attend college," said Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) Executive Director Andrew Davis. "And with the multiple pricing options and a variety of payment plans, it’s easy to find a plan that fits the needs of your family.”
Unlike a college savings plan, the College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program is a tax-advantaged way to protect families from tuition inflation by allowing purchasers to lock in a price now to cover future tuition and fees and apply benefits at almost any college nationwide.
It’s tax season, and for those expecting a refund, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission recommends starting on the path to saving for college by purchasing a semester of a college education. There’s no better time to lock in prices than now, as prices will increase May 1.
“It’s not Uncle Sam’s money. It’s your money, so use it to fund a child's future education with a College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition plan,” continued Davis. “The hardest part of paying for college is actually starting. The earlier you begin, the better off you are.”
A College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program contract between the purchaser and the state of Illinois provides 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.
Secure a child’s educational future at the lowest prices today by enrolling at www.529prepaidtuition.org, or call toll-free at (877) 877-3724 for program information, monthly pricing discounts and enrollment guidelines.
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. ISAC’s commissioners are responsible for the overall management of the program and its investments, including hiring a qualified slate of investment managers and other professionals.