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College savings program resumes

SPRINGFIELD – A troubled Illinois college savings program is back in business with new management and new rules.

College Illinois lets parents lock in a price for their children’s future tuition and save money to pay it.

Money put into the savings program is tax deductible and returns on the investment are tax free.

The program stopped taking new applications late last year after news reports revealed questionable investments and money problems.

State auditors later found that top officials had conflicts of interest and that administrative costs had skyrocketed.

Gov. Pat Quinn replaced the management team, and the General Assembly passed a law requiring more openness about investment decisions.

Kym Hubbard, chairwoman of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, said the changes mean College Illinois is “stronger and better able to serve parents and college-bound students.”

The savings program began in 1997 and now has 52,000 participants.

State officials said a child born today faces a bill of about $180,000 for four years at a public university.

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