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Bright Start is a Section 529 education savings program created and administered by the state of Illinois. It allows you to save money toward your future student's education in a Bright Start account and pay no taxes on any earnings. When it's time for college, you can make tax-free withdrawals from the account to pay for qualified expenses at most schools in-state, out-of-state or abroad. Whether your student attends a vocational, community, state or even Ivy League institution, you've helped them have a brighter future. Anyone can open a Bright Start account—even if you live outside of Illinois. The only rule is that you (the account owner) and your future college student (also called the beneficiary) have a valid social security number or taxpayer identification number. If you do live in Illinois, however, you get extra state tax benefits.






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