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College Illinois! Plan Benefits

Benefit Details


Funds are held in a separate trust fund at the Northern Trust Company

Your contributions are set aside in a separate trust fund.

All Program assets from contract holders are held in the Illinois Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund and kept separate from State public funds. By law, plan funds can only be used for paying benefits on behalf of contract holders and for the costs of running the Program.


You're not tied to the stock market.

The value of your College Illinois! Plan does not go up and down according to stock prices or the bond market.


You benefit from state tax advantages.

This includes 100% tax-exempt earnings and an Illinois state income tax deduction up to $10,000 ($20,000 per couple) in the year that you contribute.


The Plan is in the purchaser's name.

This means that you have control over the contract from initial purchase to graduation.


The Plan is flexible, and adapts to whatever life brings.

If your student receives a college scholarship, any unused benefits can be held for future use or transferred to another family member. Or the value of the unused benefits can be refunded to the purchaser on a semester-by-semester basis up to the amount of the scholarship. Also, the beneficiary has 10 years from their projected enrollment date to start using benefits and 10 years from enrollment to finish using the prepaid tuition benefits.

Transferring ownership is okay.

You can designate a new owner for a plan at any time—although you cannot sell it or pledge it as collateral for a debt. And by naming a successor purchaser, you can transfer it upon death.

You can transfer the plan from one child to another.

You can change the beneficiary and transfer unused benefits to another member of the beneficiary's family, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service to include virtually any relative of the designated beneficiary.

How Contract Benefits Can Be Used


When benefits can be used.

Benefits are available for use three years after the first payment due date. The plan must be paid in full prior to the use of any benefits. This may require accelerating the payment schedule or making a lump-sum payment prior to enrollment if, for example, a student were to enroll in college earlier than expected.


Contracts and Semester Hours.

Each semester purchased is the equivalent of 15 semester hours. Semester hours can be converted into quarter hours and trimester hours for those institutions operating on a different schedule.


Application to Undergraduate and Graduate Study.

A College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Plan is intended to cover tuition and mandatory fees for full or part-time undergraduate study. While College Illinois! did not offer plans specifically for graduate study, benefits can be applied toward graduate study tuition and mandatory fees.


Benefits transfer.

Benefits can be used at more than one school if the student transfers to another school during their college career. Additional costs may apply.


Entering college later is okay.

You are allowed to hold on to a contract, even if the intended beneficiary doesn't enter college in the year you anticipated. The beneficiary has 10 years from the expected college enrollment date to begin using benefits.


Your student always has the flexibility to attend the eligible college or university of their choosing!

You can use benefits at all Illinois public universities and community colleges even if they are not specifically covered within the plan type you've purchased. For example, if you purchased a Choice 1 Community College Plan and your student chooses to attend University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), you can use the value of those benefits to reduce your tuition costs at UIUC. And if you purchased a Choice 3 University+ Plan and your student chooses to attend a community college or university, you can use your Choice 3 benefits to cover more semesters and/or receive a refund.


You can also use your plan to help pay for a private or out-of-state college or university. The mean-weighted-average value of in-state tuition and mandatory fees (at the schools purchased in your plan) at the time your student attends college can be applied toward tuition and mandatory fees at most colleges and universities throughout the U.S.

HOW THE VALUE OF PLAN BENEFITS ARE PAID


At Illinois public schools covered by the student’s (type of) plan, tuition and mandatory fees are paid no matter how much they are in the future.

At Illinois public schools not covered by the plan, the amount paid is converted based on the current weighted average tuition and fees (WAT) for the plan type.

At eligible private and out-of-state schools, the amount paid is also based on the WAT for the student’s type of prepaid tuition plan.

Information table about cost
2021-2022 Weighted Average Tuition (WAT) Amounts*
 Annual AmountAmount Per Credit Hour at Semester Institution
Community College or Choice 1 Community College Benefits: $4,798 $159.93
University Benefits:
Purchased prior to 2008-2009 enrollment period
$16,539 $551.30
Choice 2 University Benefits:
Average for All Illinois Public Universities except the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
$15,472 $515.73
Choice 3 University Plus Benefits:
Average for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
$19,172 $639.07

*Each year the WAT is recalculated to reflect tuition and fee increases at Illinois public institutions.

 

Example of How College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Benefits Work
School Student Attends
2021-22 Annual In-State or In-District Tuition and Fees (based on 30 credit hours per year)
Amount Covered by College Illinois! benefits
Out-of-Pocket Balance
Credit Hours Used
Conversion Calculation
Student has Community College or Choice 1 Community College Benefits:
Kankakee Community College $5,280 100% $0 30 N/A
Student has University Plan Benefits (purchased prior to 2008-2009 enrollment period):
Choice 2 Schools:
Northern Illinois University $14,736 100% $0 30 N/A
Illinois State University $16,299 100% $0 30 N/A
University of Illinois - Springfield $17,515 100% $0 30 N/A
Choice 3 School:
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Business) $21,960 100% $0 30 N/A
Private or Out-of State Schools:
Bradley University $16,539 (2) $0 30 N/A
University of Iowa $31,905 (1) $16,539 (2) $15,366 30 N/A
Student has Choice 2 University Benefits:
Choice 2 Schools:
Northern Illinois University $14,736 100% $0 30 N/A
Illinois State University $16,299 100% $0 30 N/A
University of Illinois - Springfield $17,515 100% $0 30 N/A
Choice 3 School:
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Business) $21,960 100% until contract is depleted $0 42.58 $21,960 / $515.73 (3)
Private or Out-of State Schools:
Bradley University $15,472 (3) $0 30 N/A
University of Iowa $31,905 (1) $15,472 (3) $16,433 30 N/A
Student has Choice 3 University Plus Benefits:
Choice 3 School:
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Business) $21,960 100% $0 30 N/A
Choice 2 Schools:
Northern Illinois University $14,736 100% $0 22.06 $14,736 / $639.07 (4)
Illinois State University $16,299 100% $0 25.50 $16,299 / $639.07 (4)
University of Illinois - Springfield $17,515 100% $0 27.41 $17,515 / $639.07 (4)
Private or Out-of State Schools:
Bradley University $19,172(4) 30 N/A
University of Iowa $31,905 (1) $19,172 (4) $12,703 30 N/A

(1) Nonresident tuition and fees
(2) 2021-22 WAT for University prepaid tuition plans (purchased prior to 2008-2009)
(3) 2021-22 WAT for Choice 2 University prepaid tuition plans
(4) 2021-22 WAT for Choice 3 University Plus prepaid tuition plans