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What the American Opportunity Tax Credit Means for College Students

Summary: 
President Obama calls on Congress to make the American Opportunity Tax Credit – a $2500 per year tax credit for working families and students attending college – permanent.

Any middle class parent or student who’s worried about paying college tuition will tell you that $2,500 makes a big difference when it comes time to pay the bills.  But right now, there's a real chance students will lose access to an important tax credit provides this level of assistance - unless we act quickly.

That’s why President Obama is calling on Congress to make the American Opportunity Tax Credit – a $2500 per year tax credit for working families and students attending college – permanent.  To help bring attention to the issue, he's meeting with college students in the Oval Office today.  You can help by spreading the word about this important issue as well.

This isn't just an issue for current students - it matters to all of us.  Having more college educated workers in the American workforce is crucial to growing our economy. In order to compete in the 21st century global economy, we need to give all Americans the opportunity to pursue a college degree – and that’s exactly what this tax credit does:

  • The American Opportunity Tax Credit gives working families and students a $2,500 per year tax credit for students attending college.
  • If Congress makes this tax credit permanent it would be worth up to $10,000 for four years of college.
  • 12 million more students from working families will have a chance to earn a college degree thanks to a 90% increase in tax credits for education during the first year of the Obama Administration.

Unfortunately, some Congressional Republicans are  proposing a 20% cut on education which would mean reducing financial aid for eight million college students and leaving community colleges without the resources they need to prepare students for the jobs of the future.  At the same time, they’re proposing to borrow $700 billion to provide millionaires and billionaires with an average tax cut of $100,000.
 
At times like these, cutting back on investments that are directly related to our economic growth just doesn’t make sense.  We can’t afford to shortchange American students, and that’s why the President will continue to fight to make the American Opportunity Tax Credits permanent and to strengthen our education system for all students.