Illinois 529 College Savings Plans

Illinois has two 529 college savings plans, as well as a prepaid tuition program. The direct-sold Bright Start College Savings Program and the Bright Directions Advisor-Guided 529 College Savings Program are managed by Union Bank & Trust. In November 2017 the Bright Start Advisor program was folded into Bright Directions. CollegeIlinois!, the state’s prepaid tuition program, is available only to Illinois residents.

Illinois 529 Tax Benefit
  • Tax deduction for single filers$10,000/yr
  • Tax deduction for joint filers$20,000/yr

Consumer Plans

Bright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program

Union Bank & Trust Company succeeded Oppenheimer Funds, Inc. as program manager of the Bright Start College Savings Program in July 2017. The Illinois direct-sold Plan features three age-based options using either a multi-firm or index-based strategy, three target portfolios, three index target portfolios and individual fund portfolios from a number of fund families....

  • Resident Rating
  • Non-Resident Rating

College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program

College Illinois! was established to make college accessible and affordable for Illinois students and families. Program enrollment for 2017-18 is currently on hold pending continuing discussions with policymakers to help define proposals that will strengthen College Illinois! and efforts to move those proposals forward in the legislative process....

  • Resident Rating
  • Non-Resident Rating

Advisor Sold Plans

Bright Directions Advisor-Guided 529 College Savings Program

The Illinois Bright Directions Advisor-Guided 529 College Savings Program, sold through brokers and fee-based financial advisors, features an extensive multi-manager platform offering a large number of age-based, static multi-fund, and individual-fund options. In November 2017, the Bright Start Advisor-Sold College Savings Program combined with the Illinois Bright Directions Advisor-Guided 529 College Savings Program. Investments in Bright Start Advisor-Sold College Savings Program accounts were automatically transitioned to the corresponding Bright Directions portfolios....

  • Resident Rating
  • Non-Resident Rating

ABLE plans

Illinois ABLE

Illinois ABLE is offered through the National ABLE Alliance. The plan is established under the Illinois ABLE account program legislation and Section 529A to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life, and to provide secure funding for disability-related expenses on behalf of designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, federal and Illinois medical and disability insurance, the beneficiary's employment, and other sources....

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