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Lock in the cost of college


Your partner in planning for the future

Administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, College Illinois! was established to make college accessible and affordable for Illinois students and families. With a College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan, families can lock in the cost of college and enjoy great tax benefits by prepaying for semesters of college tuition at today’s plan rates. Plan funds are professionally managed by an experienced team and established third-party money managers, and are held in a trust fund at Northern Trust Company, separate from state funds.

The Different Kinds of 529 Plans

The College Illinois! Difference

What is a 529 plan?

A tax-advantaged plan designed to encourage families to set aside funds for future college costs.

College Illinois! is a 529 Prepaid Tuition Program that allows you to purchase semesters of college tuition at today’s plan rate.

There are two main types of plans: Prepaid tuition plans and college savings plans. Both plans operate under the same Federal 529 umbrella and both types of plans are offered by the state of Illinois. The two have some similarities, for example, all Illinois 529 plan fund assets are held separate from State public funds, are professionally managed by third party money managers, and both offer significant tax advantages when benefits are used for qualified higher education expenses. But there are important differences.

Prepaid tuition plans help eliminate the risk of tuition inflation by allowing you to lock in the cost of college at today’s plan rate. With a College Illinois! Prepaid Plan, no matter how high tuition rates climb by the time your child is ready to attend school, tuition and mandatory fees will be covered at the schools in the plan you purchased, or the value of plan benefits can be applied to tuition and fees at qualified colleges across the country. With college savings plans, funds available for college will depend on how much you have saved and how well your investments have done when your child is ready to enroll.


Read more about what College Illinois! has meant to students and families throughout Illinois. Enroll in your College Illinois! Plan today and join the families of over 30,000 students who have already attended college using College Illinois! Plan benefits.

  • 529 plan testimonial imageMy story begins when I became a divorced mother of a 3-year-old. I did not know how I would be able to send my child to college. Without College Illinois! I would have had many sleepless nights worrying about my daughter's future. Because of College Illinois! she is now a licensed professional with her master's degree!

    Sharon Ausec

  • 529 plan testimonialWe purchased two full four-year contracts for our sons about 12 years ago. Our oldest graduated and our youngest will graduate in May. Even though they decided to go to a private school and an out-of-state university this was still one of the best decisions that we have made. The weighted average payments of the in-state tuition rate rose each year and were handled seamlessly by being sent directly to the school. I would highly recommend using College Illinois! 529 plan testimonial image

    Tom Della Penna

  • 529 plan testimonialWe opened a College Illinois! account for our daughter Nora back in 1999. She just graduated from Eastern Illinois University with no debt, tuition and fees all paid. It was the best decision we ever made! 529 plan testimonial image

    Grace Gaughan

College Illinois! 529 Financials

The College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Program has helped thousands of Illinois students and families realize their dreams of going to college. Here you can review the Program’s financial history and fund performance.

Want to learn more about 529 prepaid tuition vs. college savings? Visit