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.