(NewsUSA) – This holiday season, contributing to a child’s college education can be the gift that lasts a lifetime. Parents and grandparents alike want to give their children and grandchildren the tools to succeed in life, and a college education can do just that.

However, post-secondary education is becoming increasingly less affordable.

According to the College Board, today’s newborn is expected to pay $180,000 to attend a four-year, public university. Coupled with the difficult economy, college is slipping beyond reach of many families. However, by giving a College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Program contract to a child or grandchild, you lock in a price for their future education today, staying a step ahead of tuition inflation.

"The price of college for one child is steep, and we have five to worry about," said Cindy Wisniewski of Naperville, Ill., a College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Program contract holder.

"College Illinois! lets us save for college for our kids over time in a way that makes sense financially for us."

Wisniewski said the flexible benefits and array of payment options attracted her to the program.

"Each of our children can choose to attend just about any school they want," she said. "We love being able to give them this unique opportunity to build their future."

A college education is a gift that will never go out of style, and the holiday season lets purchasers take advantage of tax benefits before year-end.

To give a prepaid tuition contract to a child, Andrew Davis, executive director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the agency that administers the College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Program, suggests combining it with another gift such as a piggy bank to help a child gain a better understanding of money.

"A children’s book such as ‘The Penny Pot’ would be an appropriate gift for young readers," said Davis, a contract holder himself. "For older children, ‘Money Sense for Kids’ might be a good choice."

For more information, visit www.529prepaidtuition.org/gift or call 877-877-3724 for program information, materials and enrollment guidelines.








Note to editors: This is a regional release for Illinois.