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The College Savings Program administered by the Illinois state treasurer's office has been restructured and has received a clean bill of health from Auditor General William G. Holland, whose report found management changes to be effective.

Treasurer’s restructured college savings program gets clean audit

by patrick clarke
Jan 31, 2013

The College Savings Program has had no mismanagement of funds, according to an audit of the Illinois state Treasurer’s program by the Illinois Auditor General.

“In our opinion, the June 30, 2012 and 2011 financial statements present fairly the financial position of the College Savings Program Fund as of June 30, 2012 and 2011,” the report read.

Total assets in 2011 amounted to $4.1 billion, and $8.7 million in liabilities. There was a slight increase in 2012’s assets, $4.5 billion, and a decrease in liabilities to $6.4 million.

The Treasurer’s office did not return phone calls for a comment, but the changing figures, according to the audit, are due partly to the restructuring of the management team last year after reports of mismanagement and high administrative costs.

The plans encourage participants to save toward expenses for higher education. Savers have a choice of two plans – Bright Directions and Bright Starts. Bright Directions is specifically for those who manage their investments through a professional adviser.

Bright Starts, in particular, has had a history of controversy. In 2011, families were left empty-handed after a promotion promised to match $250 for their contributions. Another savings program, College Illinois, had stopped accepting new applicants. As of  October, a restructured program has resumed without conflict.