Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Washington Update: Bill Reduces Colleges' HOPE Scholarship Requirements

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Washington Update: Bill Reduces Colleges' HOPE Scholarship Requirements

Article excerpt

Colleges with a large number of low-income students are getting a break from the federal government -- a reduction in costly paperwork requirements that had threatened to put a strain on postsecondary education budgets.

The Senate late last month joined the House of Representatives in approving legislation that would simplify colleges' paperwork burdens under the HOPE Scholarship and lifelong learning tax credit, two tax benefits aimed at low- and middle-income students. The House approved the measure Dec. 4.

Despite support for the new tax credits, colleges have opposed some of the two programs' paperwork requirements since shortly after enactment of the programs in 1997. Of particular concern was a provision that colleges report detailed information on students and their parents in order to help the federal government monitor fraud in the program.

For example, colleges by law have been required to collect the names and Social Security numbers of parents who may claim a HOPE-eligible student as a dependent. The original law also required colleges to collect detailed information about who pays for a student's tuition and fees. …

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