College Savings

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Saving for a child’s college education is one of the most important investments you can make. According to the Center for Social Development, children who have a college savings account are approximately three times more likely to attend college.

With college costs continuing to rise, Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs is proud to help Illinois families save. The Treasurer serves as the trustee of two Illinois 529 college savings plans.

Bright Start is a direct plan that individuals can sign up for and manage on their own, while Bright Directions is a plan that can be accessed through a financial advisor.

Both Plans allow Illinois families to save while taking advantage of great federal tax benefits.

  • Contributions grow on a tax-deferred basis while in the Plan
  • Contributions can be withdrawn tax free for qualified higher education expenses — including tuition, required fees, books, supplies, room & board (if enrolled at least 1/2 time), and computers.
  • Contributions are tax deductible for Illinois taxpayers (up to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for joint filers).
  • Both Plans are qualified tuition programs under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

We’re proud to help Illinois families prepare for college. To learn about each plan, click above, contact your financial professional, or call us at 877.432.7444. 

Each of our Plans recently underwent exciting transitions as part of new agreements with the fund manager — resulting in more affordable, versatile ways to save for college.