CONGRESS EXTENDS TAX CREDITS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
The American Taxpayer Relief Act, passed at the end of 2012, permanently extend a number of tax benefits to help families and students pay for college. These include the student loan interest deduction and the tax exclusion on employer-provided educational assistance. In addition, Congress extended for five years the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides a $2,500 tax credit for fees, college tuition and course materials.
FOR-PROFIT CAREER EDUCATION: HELP PROTECT STUDENTS FROM DECEPTIVE PRACTICES
In 2012 the Department of Education released final regulations to enforce the federal requirement that career education programs receiving federal student aid “prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.” NEA supports these regulations. Numerous investigations have revealed pervasive abuses by some career education programs: deceptive and aggressive recruiting of students; inflated job placement rates and false reporting to authorities; overstatement of a program’s value and understatement of its high cost; and dismal completion rates. Too many of these programs are preying on low-income students, minority students, and veterans seeking to further their education, who take on insurmountable debt to pursue degrees or certificates that don’t help them get jobs.
The new “gainful employment” regulations will ramp up over four years, giving colleges time to reform while protecting students from exploitative programs. However, some in Congress – spurred on by pressure from for-profit schools – have already tried, and will likely continue to try to block implementation of the regulations.
Take Action Today: Tell Congress to protect students by supporting gainful employment regulations.
TELL CONGRESS TO SUPPORT THE DREAM ACT
Each year, thousands of undocumented students who have lived in the United States for at least five years graduate from U.S. high schools. Among these students, with whom NEA members work every day, are valedictorians, straight-A students, and idealistic youth committed to bettering their communities. Yet, because of their lack of legal status, they are unable to pursue higher education.
NEA strongly supports passage of the DREAM Act, which would give eligible young people the opportunity to resolve their immigration status and work towards citizenship.Take Action: Urge your Members of Congress to support the DREAM Act.