About Us

Bright Start College Savings Program

Treasurer's Corner

Dear Investor,

The Illinois State Treasurer's Bright Start College Savings Program provides a smart, tax advantaged way for families to invest money to help pay for a child's college education.         

With tuition costs on the rise, it's more important than ever for parents to start saving early.

Recent improvements to Bright Start have resulted in the addition of new underlying investments from industry leaders, OppenheimerFunds and its affiliates, and American Century Investments®. The changes are designed to save you money, provide greater flexibility and inspire more families to start saving for their children's future.

You can open an account with an initial contribution of as little as $25. Bright Start's wide range of investment options is tailored to meet every child's needs and aspirations.

Best of all, you choose an investment plan that is best suited for you and your beneficiary—whether that's your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, friend or even yourself.

You'll find that a successful future for your child begins today with a Bright Start account.


Illinois State Treasurer

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Treasurer's Tips

Project your costs
Formulating an effective college-funding plan begins with projecting the cost of a higher education for your child. It's important to be realistic about what those costs may be. You can use our handy online Education/Funding/Planner calculator to get started.

Know your options
You'll want to explore the many ways to save for a child's education and be aware that you will probably have to bring into play several resources to assemble a successful plan. Get a comparison of some of the more popular college savings options.

Start early
Time really is money. Establish a target dollar amount and a time frame, then figure out a payment schedule designed to help you reach your goal—and stick to it! Remember, the earlier you start to save, the more time you should have for your college savings to grow. Get more insights in Strategies for College Savings.

Save regularly

Making a habit of investing regularly may really pay off in the long run. That's why it's important to determine how you want to save to meet your college savings goal. You can contribute a monthly or annual amount into an account designated for this purpose. Or, you can set up the account with a lump sum investment. Learn more about "saving regularly."

Separate your college savings
Establishing a separate account for college savings will make it harder to use the money for another purpose, and will enable you to watch your money grow to approach your target goal. Be disciplined with this account.

Learn more about the Illinois State Treasury.

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About Bright Start

The Bright Start College Savings Program is Illinois' tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan, designed to help families and individuals nationwide save for future higher education expenses.             

Bright Start was created in 2000 and is administered by the Illinois State Treasurer and qualified under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.


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About OFI Private Investments, Inc.

OFI Private Investments Inc. is a subsidiary of OppenheimerFunds, Inc., one of the nation's largest and most respected asset management companies with more than 6 million shareholder accounts and nearly 50 years of financial industry experience.

OFI Private Investments is a name you can trust to provide professional investment services and support to help investors meet their long-term goals. With OFI Private Investments as your program manager, you can expect:

  • Investment Excellence
  • Competitive Plan Fees
  • Outstanding Customer Service

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