American Opportunity Tax Credit

College expenses, like costs in many other sectors, are steadily rising and it is becoming more and more difficult to cover these expenses. Books, tuition, and computers are just a few of these rising costs that make school so expensive. We can try and save money but, larger economic factors are makes it difficult to control education costs. For instance choosing to go to school in-state to lower tuition or choosing a state institution instead of a private institutions, are good ways to save money, however these strategies are not enough when tuition prices are rising everywhere. Luckily, there is a new tax credit to make this situation a little easier to bear.

The American Opportunity Tax Credit is a partially refundable tax credit detailed in Section 1004 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 20091.This tax credit was originally called the Hope tax credit, but was renamed the American Opportunity Tax Credit and expanded to coincide with recent economic changes. This expansion lead to an increase in the tax credit’s worth and the number of years the tax credit is applicable to. The Hope Tax Credit was only applicable to tuition and certain expenses from your first two years of college, however The American Opportunity Tax credit is now applicable to those same expenses, for all four years of college2. This tax credit can be claimed for tuition and certain fees you pay for higher education in 2009 and 20103. Tax payers who pay tuition and who have modified adjusted income is less than $80,000 a year are eligible for the American Opportunity Tax Credit4. In addition to tuition and related educational expenses in some cases a computer may be covered by the tax credit. You can find out more information about the American Opportunity tax credit and the expenses it covers.

This tax credit is just one way to compensate for the rising educational costs that students face today. Please refer to the links below for more ways to cope.

2-4: Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center

Sybria White

Sybria White

Sybria White is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Upon graduation in May 2010, she will leave Carolina with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, a Certificate in Career Development and will be awarded a Public Service Scholar. She plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Health following taking a year off to contribute to a National Service Program, such as AmeriCorps. Her undergraduate career has taught her the value of a sociological perspective, which has influenced her dedication to public service. She is a volunteer for W.D. Hill Recreation center, Peer mentor for minority students and has served as an active member of several campus organizations such as Sociology club, North Carolina Health Careers and Access Program, Community Government, and Minority Advising just to name a few.

Apart from contributing public service and active involvement on campus, Sybria is very passionate about creative writing and writing in general and hopes to bring a sociological point of view to her articles. Her interests outside of writing and public service include reading books concerning fashion and spending time with her family.

A well rounded curriculum involving Business and English academics in addition to sociology, have helped shaped this young writers’ unique voice. She is eager to share her newly acquired skills and looks forward to helping others approach every day problems from a new, and perhaps, sociological outlook.
Sybria White

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