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College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Program


The College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Program offers a variety of tuition packages to Illinois families.

5-Cap Rating

Non-Resident:'s 5-Cap Ratings provides an evaluation and comparison of 529 plans, utilizing a formula that examines dozens of factors grouped into the following categories. (Scale 0 to 5; 5 is highest)


Program type:

Prepaid contract

How to enroll:

Enroll directly with the program.

Initial year of operation:


State agency(ies):

Illinois Student Assistance Commission

Enrollment period:

November 18, 2014 through April 30, 2015


State residency requirements:

The account owner or beneficiary must be an Illinois resident for at least 12 months prior to application.

Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:

The contract must be purchased at least three years before benefits are used to pay for tuition and fees. The beneficiary must begin using contract benefits within 10 years of the projected enrollment date and then has 10 years to use the benefits.

Contractual Features

Contract prices:

Separate pricing schedules are developed for beneficiaries below 1st grade, beneficiaries in 1st to 8th grades, and beneficiaries in ninth grade or higher. For the 2014-15 enrollment period prices ranged from as little as $1,907 for a one-semester community college contract for a newborn, to as much as $92,507 for a nine-semester University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign contract for a child in the ninth grade or higher.

Available tuition packages:

Up to nine semesters of university level tuition and mandatory fees, up to four semesters of community college level tuition and mandatory fees, or a combination of four university semesters and four community college semesters. The University+ option is separately priced and covers the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which the basic University Plan does not.

Benefits for beneficiary attending private or out-of-state institution:

Equal to the average mean-weighted credit hour value of public in-state costs.

Contract payment options:

Lump sum, initial lump sum payment and installment payments for the balance, or installment payments only. The extended payment plans are available only for children in 8th grade and younger. The first payment is due on the first day of the second month following the month of enrollment.

Are program benefits backed by the full faith and credit of the state?


Are program benefits collateralized or guaranteed in any other way?

Yes, the legislature is required to consider, but not necessarily approve, an appropriation to cover the shortfall.

Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:


Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:

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State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Contributions to an Illinois 529 plan of up to $10,000 per year by an individual, and up to $20,000 per year by a married couple filing jointly, are deductible in computing Illinois taxable income. For a rollover contribution, only the principal portion is eligible for the deduction. Contribution deadline is December 31 postmark. For tax years ending on or between 12/31/09 and 12/31/20, employers may claim a credit against Illinois tax for 25% of matching contributions made to an employee's account in an Illinois 529 plan, with a maximum annual credit of $500 per employee. Unused credits may be carried forward for five years.

State tax recapture provisions:

Rollovers from this plan to an out-of-state program are included in Illinois taxable income to the extent of prior Illinois deductions. Nonqualified distributions from this plan are included in Illinois taxable income to the extent of prior Illinois deductions.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

Qualified distributions from an Illinois 529 plan are exempt. Qualified distributions from a non-Illinois plan are exempt provided the plan meets certain disclosure requirements.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

Illinois follows federal tax-free treatment except that outbound rollovers are subject to the recapture of prior state tax deductions.

Does the sponsoring state exclude the value of an account for state financial aid purposes?


Does participation in the program provide beneficiaries with any advantages in qualifying for resident tuition status at state institutions?


Does the program have a formal agreement with a rewards program or outside scholarship program?


Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Benefits are paid directly to the school on behalf of the beneficiary; refunds are made to the purchaser/owner of the account.

Account Changes

Policy regarding participant/owner changes:

Accepts requests to transfer contract ownership ($15 fee).


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