To get unemployed Americans back to work, the federal government is providing incentives to help low- to middle- income individuals go back to school.
A $13.8 billion tuition tax credit boost called the American Opportunity Tax Credit reimburses 100 percent of the first $2,000 of educational expenses for lower income students. For the next $2,000 spent, students receive a 25 percent reimbursement. In short, qualifying, lower income students can receive $2,500 in education reimbursements per year.
The bill also features other benefits for low-income students. Families that do not earn enough to pay income taxes can receive a $1,000 education refund.
"These kinds of incentives from the government don't come along very often," says Marcus Varner, financial aid and education counselor at ClassesandCareers.com, a free education information service. "If people have been thinking of going back to school, now would be the time to do it. If they are hurting financially, they may qualify for the aid they need to get a degree." These benefits are set to expire after the 2010-2011 school year.
Fortunately, thanks to a growing number of online education options, degree-seekers can take advantage of these benefits without leaving their jobs. Sites like ClassesandCareers.com help degree-seekers find information about online schools and programs as well as financial aid.
"People can learn what options are available to them," saysVarner. "All they have to do is visit our form and fill it out. We guide them through the rest."
Now is the time to take advantage of these financial aid benefits. Visit ClassesandCareers.com to talk to a professional academic adviser. They will answer your questions about financial aid, courses, and degree programs.