The Senate has passed legislation to help middle class families and students afford the rapidly increasing cost of a college education. The Senate’s 2012 College Affordability Plan (S.7449) will help parents save for higher education for their children and give students and families access to low-interest student loans, as well as clear information about the size of the loan and debt they are taking on.
In addition, the plan would encourage New Yorkers to stay in the Empire State to being their careers by creating a new “Stay-in-New-York” tax credit. This would provide up to $12,000 in tax relief over four years for students who graduate on time or early from a college in New York, perform community service work, and stay and work in New York for at least four years.
Highlights of the College Affordability Plan include:
· Doubling the existing tax deduction from $10,000 to $20,000;
· Doubling the maximum tuition tax credit from $400 to $800;
· Creating a four-year, $12,000 “Stay-in-New-York” tax credit for persons who graduate from a college in New York in four years or less, perform volunteer community service and stay and work in New York for four years. Combined with existing credits, graduates could get up to $15,200 in total tax relief;
· Establish a new $100 million Linked Deposit Student Loan program to make low interest student loans available to middle class families. Low interest rates could be cut in half;
· Enable parents to pre-pay current tuition for a SUNY or CUNY school; and,
· Designate the Department of Financial Services to serve as a “truth-in-lending” clearinghouse for reliable information on college loans and interest rates.
In 2010, graduates from colleges in New York had an average loan debt of $26,271, the 10th highest in the country. Just six years ago in 2005-06, the average loan for New York schools was $19,249 and New York ranked 20th in the nation. 61% of students who attend college in New York have college loan debts.
Nationally, college tuitions have increased well beyond the rate of inflation, income and health care costs. It is estimated that by 2016, the average cost of a public college will have more than doubled in 15 years. The amount of student debt is now more than one trillion dollars, surpassing the amount owed on credit cards and auto loans.
For additional information on this plan CLICK HERE or contact my Community Office at 516-739-1700.