Find Your Bright Start
Explore the Benefits of a 529 Plan
- Save for tuition at two-year and four-year institutions, including vocational, trade, community, state, or technical schools.
- Cover additional expenses like room and board*, books, a computer, and more.
- Choose from a variety of investment options.
- Enjoy flexible contributions – that means no minimum or ongoing requirements and a high maximum.
- Set up automatic investments from your bank account so you don’t even have to think about your contributions.
- If you’re an Illinois taxpayer, you’ll also receive an Illinois tax deduction for contributions you make to Bright Start.1
How You Can Use the Funds
- Funds can be used to cover a variety of educational expenses Tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment; room and board expenses (if enrolled at least half-time); computer or peripheral equipment, computer software, or internet access; and certain expenses for special needs services needed by a special needs beneficiary.
- Use 529 funds at any accredited institution This includes any college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. The educational institution should be able to tell you if it is an eligible educational institution.
- Students are not limited to schools within the U.S. Certain educational institutions located outside the United States also participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs. Check out the listing of eligible schools from the Department of Education.