College Savings Options
With so many ways to save for college, there’s a lot of information out there. View the comparison chart below to see how the Bright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program stacks up against other options.
Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA)
UGMA / UTMA
$2,000 per beneficiary per year
$450,000 maximum account balance1
Illinois state income tax-deductible contributions
(up to $20,000)2
Change of beneficiary allowed
Age restrictions for contributions
Before age 183
Age restrictions for withdrawals
Before age 303
What a 529 Plan Means for Financial Aid
NOTE: The eligibility of the Beneficiary for financial aid may depend on the circumstances of the Beneficiary’s family at the time the Beneficiary enrolls in an Institution of Higher Education, as well as on the policies of the governmental agencies, school, or private organizations to which the Beneficiary and/or the Beneficiary’s family applies for financial assistance. Because saving for college will increase the financial resources available to the Beneficiary and the Beneficiary’s family, it most likely will have some effect on the Beneficiary’s eligibility. These policies vary at different institutions and can change over time. Therefore, no person or entity can say with certainty how the federal aid programs, or the school to which the Beneficiary applies, will treat your account.