SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Community Colleges reminds students and their parents that they can save money on their taxes and help pay for their college education through the American Opportunity Tax Credit.
"With so many students struggling to afford a higher education, we want them to know about all of their options to help pay for community college," said California Community Colleges Student Financial Aid Administrators Association President Sherrie Padilla.
The American Opportunity Tax Credit helps parents and students pay for college expenses under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). College expenses include books, supplies and equipment needed for a course of study – regardless of where they are purchased. The annual maximum credit is $2,500 per student for those who are eligible. The credit was recently extended and can be claimed on 2009 through 2012 tax returns.
To take advantage of this tax credit, contact the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program by calling 1-800-906-9887 to locate the nearest VITA site. The VITA program offers free tax help to people with low and moderate-incomes (generally, $49,000 and below) who need help preparing their own tax returns. Even students who don't make enough money to file a tax return should file because they may get up to $1,000 back, and that money could help them continue their studies.
"It is our hope that the tax credit and other forms of financial aid available can help ensure that anyone who desires to attend one of our 112 California community colleges for job training, degrees, certificates and transfers can do it," Padilla added.
The California Community Colleges encourages students and their parents to learn more about this important tax credit and other financial aid opportunities available year-round by visiting icanaffordcollege.com.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation. It is composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.76 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, a basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. The Chancellor's Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.
Brought to you by the California Community Colleges, the "I Can Afford College" campaign informs current and prospective students and their families that financial aid is available year-round to help cover fees, books, supplies and other education related costs at California's community colleges.
SOURCE California Community Colleges