Illinois First Steps

$50 to Help You Start Saving for College

The State of Illinois has launched a new program for all babies born or adopted on or after January 1, 2023 to a parent who is a resident of Illinois at the time of birth or adoption. Learn more about the program and the steps to claim the $50 seed deposit for your eligible child.

Choices Today For A Brighter Tomorrow

As the children you love continue to grow, take the steps necessary to help them succeed. Prepare them for a bright future with Bright Directions and start building their college savings now.

Learn About Bright Directions

Bright Directions Features

Here’s what you can expect when you invest with Bright Directions.


As a Bright Directions account owner, you control the account. You can name or change the beneficiary select and change investments, direct withdrawals, and manage your account online.

Tax Benefits

Attractive tax advantages including Illinois state tax deductions, tax-deferred growth, and tax-free withdrawals for qualified college expenses.12

Investment Options

Investors working with their financial advisor can select from a wide variety of investment options. Make saving even easier with automatic contributions from your bank account or paycheck.

Understanding 529 Plans

A 529 college savings plan is a tax-advantaged investment account that can be used for future education expenses.

Learn More About 529 Plans

College Savings Calculator

Create your own college savings report with our free college savings estimator and see the total projected cost and estimated monthly savings amount you’ll need when saving for college. Then, work with your financial advisor to familiarize yourself with our different investment approaches and select the one that’s right for you.

How much can you afford to save? Slide the bar to the amount you can afford to save each month .
You could save: $19,474.75

* Amount assumes an actual investment return of 6% with monthly contribution on the first day of each month. This hypothetical is for illustrative purposes only. It does not reflect an actual investment in any particular college savings plan or in Bright Directions Plan or any taxes payable upon withdrawal.

Open an Account with Your Financial Advisor

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