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College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Program

College Illinois! opens in a new window is a state-sponsored plan which helps families fund future college costs with tax benefits granted by Section 529 of the IRS Code. There are generally two types of 529s: prepaid tuition plans and college savings plans. If you are using College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition to assist with your tuition and fee expenses, the billings and payments are processed by the Student Receivables Office in the Office of the Bursar.

Authorization Form

The purchaser of the College Illinois! opens in a new window account must notify the Office of the Bursar that the funds will be used for a particular student by completing the College Illinois! Authorization Form (pdf). Our office will automatically bill College Illinois! for each term that the student is both enrolled in classes AND eligible to receive benefits.

Note: It is your responsibility to inform the Office of the Bursar if you do NOT want to use these benefits for any reason (for example, you are enrolled for a summer course and you do not want to use your benefits or you wish to use tuition only).

Completed forms should be mailed or faxed to:
Northern Illinois University
Student Receivables Office
Swen Parson Hall 210
DeKalb, Illinois 60115

Fax: 815-753-0491

If you have any questions regarding your College Illinois! prepaid tuition benefits, please contact our office at and put "College Illinois" in the subject line or call our office at 815-753-0590.

Plan Usage Highlights at NIU

  • Hours are subtracted from available College Illinois! opens in a new window benefits on an hour-for-hour basis (if the student is registered for 12 hours - 12 are subtracted; if registered for 18 hours - 18 are subtracted)

  • One fee unit will be used each semester that the student is registered at NIU, including the summer semesters. The usage of one fee unit (per semester) will pay the following fees:

    Fees COVERED by College Illinois!
    Fees NOT Covered
     General Fee  Student-to-Student Program Fee
     Academic Program Enhancement Fee  Material Fees
     Student Medical Insurance  Housing-Related Charges
     Outreach Delivery Fee
     (off campus & online courses)
     Regional Course Charge
     (off campus & online courses)
       Bookstore Charges
       Any Other Misc. Charges
  • Graduate or Law Students: Available College Illinois! benefits can be used to pay tuition and mandatory fees. However, the amount covered will be calculated at the equivalent undergraduate rate.

  • Community College: Available community college benefits can be used to pay tuition and mandatory fees. NIU will invoice College Illinois! for the sum of all tuition and fees on the student’s account. However, since community college benefits do not convert at the same level as university benefits, College Illinois! will deplete them at an accelerated rate.

    Keep in mind, student medical insurance is a fee that students can request to waive through the Student Insurance Office opens in new window. If you do not want to use the community college hours to pay insurance, you may want to consider this option.

    To read more on community college benefits, please view the Using Benefits Handbook opens in new window on College Illinois! website or call the Bursar Student Receivables Office at (815) 753-0590.

  • Summer Semesters: If benefits are not to be used for a summer semester, you need to notify the Bursar Student Receivables Office by phone at 815-753-0590 or by email at

  • College Illinois! considers a plan depleted once all available hours have been used, even if the plan still has remaining fee units.

  • It is the student’s responsibility to pay the charges that are not covered by College Illinois! benefits by specified due dates, even if College Illinois! benefits have not yet applied.