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March 14, 2010

What's Your School? College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Benefits Can Be Applied At Men's & Women's Tournament Institutions
Enroll in the College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program at www.529prepaidtuition.org

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— To see the flexibility of benefits usage for the College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition one need look no further than the schools represented in the 2010 men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments. Whether Kansas or Duke, Kentucky or Villanova, Butler or Gonzaga, College Illinois! benefits are accepted.

“The players on these tournament teams should be commended for their athletic prowess, but most kids aren’t going to be able to count on athletic scholarships to pay for college,” said Andrew Davis, executive director at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the agency that runs the program.  “With a College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition contract, parents can create their own ‘ride’ for their future college student.”

Unlike a college savings plan, 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. When a beneficiary is ready to go to college, he or she can use benefits at Illinois public universities and community colleges or apply them at most public and private schools across the nation and beyond.

"Benefits of the College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program have been used in 48 of the 50 United States.  We’re nationwide,” continued Davis.  “The college basketball tournament schools are just a small sample of the places beneficiaries can apply their benefits.”

A child born today is projected to incur college costs of more than $180,000 at a four-year, public university, but parents and grandparents can sign a prepaid tuition contract today for much less, negating the effect of tuition inflation on their pocketbooks.  Prepaid tuition benefits keep pace with the increases in tuition and fees equal to those found at in-state, public institutions.

“For College Illinois! ‘March Madness’ ends March 31; April will bring higher prices,” concluded Davis. “We invite families to use this exciting time of year to learn more about the College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition advantage.”

Parents and grandparents can purchase as little as one semester at a community college to nine semesters at a public university. Various payment options are available, including monthly and annual installments.  Visit www.529prepaidtuition.org, call toll-free at (877) 877-3724 or e-mail 529info@isac.org for program information, including pricing and enrollment guidelines. 

Now is the best time to purchase a contract because monthly pricing discounts make buying early more affordable. The last day for March pricing is Wednesday, March 31, 2010.

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.


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