Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Legislation Seeks to Broaden Access to HOPE Scholarship. (Washington Update)

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Legislation Seeks to Broaden Access to HOPE Scholarship. (Washington Update)

Article excerpt

Low-income students need greater access to the federal HOPE Scholarship, say lawmakers and a group of higher education leaders seeking action in Congress.

Legislation proposed by Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., would make changes in the 6-year-old education tax credit to better focus benefits on low-income students. Under HOPE, students can get a tax credit equal to $1,500 for college costs, yet the structure of the program often works against low-income students.

For example, low-income students must have their HOPE Scholarships reduced by the amount of any federal, state and private grants, including the federal Pell Grant program. The credit also applies only to tuition, not required fees or books that might make the credit more available to community college students.

"Amazingly enough, this was done deliberately to limit these benefits primarily to middle and upper-middle income taxpayers," says George Boggs, president and chief executive officer of the American Association of Community Colleges. …

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