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 bursar@niu.edu and put "College Illinois" in the subject line or call our office at 815-753-0590.


Plan Usage Highlights at NIU

  • University 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).

  • Fee Units:

    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  Material Fees
     Academic Program Enhancement Fee  Student Medical Insurance (less than 9 hours)
     Student Medical Insurance (9 hours or more)  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:

    University/Community College Plan: Available community college hours can be used to pay tuition at an accelerated rate. Fee units will cover eligible mandatory fees as stated above. 

    Community College ONLY Plan:  Available community college hours can be used to pay tuition at an accelerated rate. Although community college only plans include fee units, these fee units cannot be used at a university and will deplete when community college tuition depletes.

    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  bursar@niu.edu.

  • Important Tips:

    College Illinois! considers a plan depleted once all available hours have been used, even if the plan still has remaining fee units. As a result, unused fee payments will not be refunded to you by College Illinois! after you exhaust your tuition credit hours.

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

    Always review College Illinois! benefit usage correspondence to be sure benefits have been deducted correctly.

  • Drops and Withdrawals:

    The university is required to bill College Illinois! for the number of credit hours students are enrolled in each semester as of the last date to withdraw after the add/drop period, for a 100% tuition refund. If a student reduces enrollment after this date, College Illinois! will not reduce the number of credit hours deducted from the student's College Illinois! account.

  • Scholarship(s) Refunds:

    Some students receive financial aid (e.g., scholarship, grant, waiver, etc.) that covers all or part of their tuition and/or mandatory fees. Northern Illinois University will submit a bill to College Illinois! for the reduced amount of tuition and fees not covered by that conflicting aid.

    Scholarship refunds can be requested each semester you receive conflicting aid in this scenario. The account purchaser must request this refund by downloading the Scholarship Refund Form from College Illinois!. Documentation of the scholarship and confirmation of your enrollment for that term must also be sent with the Scholarship Refund Form to College Illinois!. Refunds are always issued to the account purchaser. A scholarship refund request must be submitted each term in order to confirm your receipt of the scholarship for that term. The request should not be submitted until NIU has invoiced for the term.

    Refunds from College Illinois! typically are not issued until Northern Illinois University has received payment. If there is any discrepancy on the account and you receive a refund before College Illinois! pays NIU, then you may be required to pay back the difference on your NIU student account.