Illinois First Steps: $50 to Help Illinois Parents Start Saving for College

Investing early and often in a child’s future can help lessen the impact of rising college costs and student debt. That’s why the Illinois Treasurer launched Illinois First Steps, a program to help families spark their child’s college savings.

Children born or adopted on or after January 1, 2023, with parents who are residents of Illinois at the time of birth or adoption can claim a $50 seed deposit through a Bright Start or Bright Directions 529 College Savings Account. The seed deposit and any funds saved in the account can be used for the child’s future university, community college, technical, or apprenticeship education. Illinois 529 plans offer tax benefits, low fees, and high-quality investment options. Most importantly, neither plan has an annual maintenance fee or requires a minimum contribution or minimum balance.

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