PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) will be focusing on one of his top priorities at several weekend appearances in Philadelphia: higher education opportunities for low-income students, including how to finance college, and how to pursue graduate and professional studies.
He'll also be cutting the ribbon at Independence National Historical Park Saturday to celebrate completed renovations at Independence Hall Tower and the Centennial Bell.
The Congressman will deliver the keynote address Saturday evening at the 26th National Conference on Higher Education, a conference he founded in 1987 to inform and inspire college students from under-represented backgrounds about the opportunities of post-graduate and professional studies. He will return to the Conference Sunday for the Graduate School Fair.
On Monday evening, the Congressman will sponsor and address "Making College Pay: Tax Breaks for Students and Families," a workshop on financing higher education, specifically how to take advantage of the American Opportunity Tax Credit that he authored in 2009 legislation as part of the Recovery Act and has been extended through 2012.
Fattah is bringing together experts on college finances and the AOTC to advise attendees at Monday's workshop and assist them in tax preparation. The AOTC can return up to $2,500 as a tax credit for low and middle-income students enrolled in post-secondary education to offset tuition, textbooks, fees and other higher education expenses for working families, low and middle income students. The workshop takes place at Community College of Philadelphia.
Fattah will participate throughout the weekend at National Conference on Higher Education, which runs Friday through Sunday at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel. His Saturday keynote, on the challenges, opportunities and rewards of post-graduate education, is an annual Conference highlight. On Sunday morning, he will take part in the Graduate School Fair along with recruiters and advisers from graduate and professional schools providing factual information and career counseling for Conference attendees.
The Conference began as a two-day event when Fattah served in the State Senate, originally focused on graduates of Philadelphia high schools who attended Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Now it is a national event, drawing hundreds of students from up and down the East Coast and as far away as Texas.
Many students who aspire to pursue advanced degrees find as undergraduates that various challenges appear to derail their dreams. This conference serves as a vehicle to renew their drive, reaffirm their commitment and provide the necessary resources to assist them in the attainment of their educational pursuits.
Fattah has championed educational opportunities for all from pre-school to grad school throughout his career on the national and local level. He is the author of GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), the 49-state success story that prepares under-served students beginning in sixth grade for the rigors and opportunities of college enrollment. He created the CORE Scholars program for Philadelphia high school graduates.
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah