Woman smiling Morning Star gold medal 2017

Help Your Child Build a Better World

Start saving for your child’s future with Bright Start—a customizable college savings plan that can help you save on Illinois taxes.

Open a Bright Start account
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Illinois 529 - College Savings Michael Frerichs
Michael Frerichs - IL State Treasurer - Trustee and Administrator Union Bank and Trust Program Manager

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs takes pride in helping Illinois families save for the future. Through his Illinois 529 College Savings initiative, families can take advantage of award-winning 529 plans to help save for the rising costs of college.

Why is saving for school so important, especially when your child is so young?

Projected Cost of College (4 yrs)1

Over the next 20 years, the price of college will grow to unprecedented levels.

projected cost of college graph projected cost of college graph
Median Weekly Earnings of Full-Time Workers2

Higher education opens up a world of opportunity.

weekly earnings of full time workers chart weekly earnings of full time workers chart

Saving a little bit at a time can lead to big results.3

investment savings chart investment savings chart

Assumed Annual Return at 5%

Save for College, and Save on Your Taxes

Tax-free growth
for funds

When your investments yield results, you keep 100% of the earnings.

Your choice of portfolios

A variety of options to meet your investing style.

State tax-deductible contributions

Illinois residents can deduct up to $10,000 ($20,000 if filing jointly).

Pay for a Variety of College Expenses


Room & Board



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If you prefer to work with a financial advisor, our award-winning Bright Directions 529 plan offers guided college investing options.

Find a financial advisor