SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Back-to-school shopping season is the best time to lock in college tuition prices, according to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). That’s because Saturday, July 31, is the last day to take advantage of the College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program’s July pricing discounts.
The College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program is a state-sponsored plan that allows purchasers to lock in the cost of tuition today. When a beneficiary is ready to go to college, he or she can choose to attend almost anywhere because benefits can be used at all Illinois public universities and community colleges or applied at most public and private institutions nationwide.
“As a new school year begins, it’s smart to recognize that college is another year closer,” said ISAC Executive Director Andrew Davis. “Considering that college tuition rises between six and eight percent annually, to get the maximum benefit, it’s best to start saving early and lock in a child’s college tuition prices today.”
With over $1 billion in assets, the College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program is solid. Since the program’s inception in 1998, families have trusted the program to provide tuition benefits for more than 66,000 future college students. In fact, nearly 14,000 students have already utilized College Illinois! benefits to pay for college at 768 campuses across the country.
Unlike other college savings plans, 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. 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 few as one semester at a community college or as many as nine semesters at a public university. Various payment options are available, including monthly and annual installments.
Although enrollment is open year-round, prices adjust on the first day of each new month, every month, so it pays to purchase before August 1. 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.
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.