College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Program

College Illinois! 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! 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 815-753-9197.

Plan Usage Highlights at NIU

University Hours

University hours are subtracted from available College Illinois!  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)
Bookstore Charges
Regional Course Charge
(off campus & online courses)
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 (PDF) on College Illinois! website or call the Bursar Student Receivables Office at 815-753-9197.

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 815-753-9197 or by email at

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 (PDF) 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.

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.

Contact Us

Student Receivables
Office of the Bursar
Swen Parson Hall Room 210

Phone: 815-753-9197

Business Hours

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