NCES Report: The Effect of Education Tax Benefits

Nearly half of all 2007-08 undergraduates received some kind of education tax benefit. The 47 percent had obtained either a Hope tax credit, lifetime learning tax credit, or some kind of tuition and fees deduction and that equated to reducing recipients’ average college expenses for the academic year by about $700, says a new report by the National Center of Education Statistics.

The Statistics in Brief looks at the ways in which receipt of these benefits varies by family income and investigates the effect on the price of college attendance, as well as creating estimates on education tax benefits for all 2007–08 undergraduates.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Low income dependent undergraduates received education tax benefits at a lower rate than their low-middle, high-middle, and high income counterparts. Usually this is because these low income students had no net tuition after subtracting the grant aid and veterans benefits they received.
  • Among dependent undergraduates who received education tax benefits, low income students received a smaller amount in tax benefits ($600) than did low-middle ($900), high-middle ($1,000), and high income students ($700).
  • Unlike other income groups, low income tax benefit recipients received more in federal grant aid and veterans benefits than they did in tax benefits.

The information gathered from this report is extremely useful, as student-level data on tax benefits are not available from other sources. And it highlights the disparity between low, middle and high income households.

This Statistics in Brief is a product of the National Center for Education Statistics at the Institute of Education Sciences, part of the U.S. Department of Education.

Tax benefits should be key to providing education to those that may not be able to afford it. And this shouldn’t be exclusive to students.

Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced) announced earlier this week that the House of Representatives passed the Putting Veterans to Work Act of 2011, writes the Merced Sun-Star.

This Act will create new tax credits for businesses that hire veterans, improves the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and expands educational and training opportunities to older veterans by providing up to a year of additional Montgomery GI benefits.

“Throughout our nation’s history, members of the armed forces have proudly stepped forward and made enormous sacrifices to protect our country and way of life,” said Cardoza.

“Once our service members fulfill their commitment to our nation, we must honor our commitment to them. We will forever owe them and their families a debt of gratitude, and this bill helps fulfill that promise.”