Rep. Fattah's Student Aid Tax Credits Extended Two Years

Dec 17, 2010, 08:35 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah's (D-PA) legislation to provide up to $2,500 in higher education tax credits for students – a benefit worth $18 billion – will be extended through 2012 under the President's tax cuts and unemployment insurance plan approved by the House of Representatives early today.

The American Opportunity Tax Credit, which covers tuition, textbooks, fees and other higher education expenses for working families, low and middle income students, was included in the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010.

"The American Opportunity Tax Credit has helped put college education within the reach of millions of students who would otherwise face significant financial hardship," said Fattah, a leading advocate in Congress for educational opportunity. "I am pleased that the strides we have made toward increasing college affordability will continue."

Fattah was architect of the original AOTC in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which is set to expire Dec. 31. He introduced legislation two months ago making the AOTC permanent.

The AOTC has already assisted some 335,000 Pennsylvania families with college expenses. Those families have seen a reduction in their taxes by an average of more than $2,000 according to a recent report from the Treasury Department.  

Nationwide, the Treasury report states that 12.5 million students and their families have received a tax credit for their higher education expenses, and 4.5 million low-income students and their families received the full benefit of this higher education tax credit that was previously unavailable.

The American Opportunity Tax Credit broadly expands and strengthens what was formerly known as the Hope Scholarship Tax Credit by increasing the amount from $1,800 to $2,500, and making it available to far more families.

Fattah voted for the Middle Class Tax Relief Act on final passage. The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature.  

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah