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March 17, 2010

Two Weeks Left Of Madness: Current Prepaid Tuition Prices End March 31
Check out the College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition benefits bracket to see where benefits are used most frequently

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— The Illinois Student Assistance Commission recommends using March to explore all of the schools where College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program benefits can be applied.  To that end, the program has created its own ‘benefits bracket’ which showcases the top schools where benefits have been utilized since the program’s inception.

"Benefits of the College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program have been used in 48 of the 50 United States.  We’re nationwide,” continued Davis.  “Our bracket shows the top 65 schools in terms of benefit utilization, and I think people will be surprised by the number of out-of-state schools represented as well as how many students have applied their benefits out-of-state, as reflected in advancement to the next round within the bracket.”

The College Illinois! benefits bracket contains the top 65 four-year colleges and universities where College Illinois! benefits have been used.  Community colleges have been excluded for the purpose of this presentation.  The bracket will be updated twice a week and may be found at www.529prepaidtuition.org/bracket.

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.

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.

Now is the time to consider prepaid tuition as a means to combat the madness of tuition inflation and stock market volatility while saving for college by locking in March prices.  Prices adjust on the first day of each new month, every month, so it pays to purchase sooner rather than later.

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. 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.  The last day to take advantage of current 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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