Tampa, FL (PRWEB) February 1, 2011
U.S. News University Directory (http://www.usnewsunversitydirectory.com) is exploring President Obama’s push to make the $10,000 college tax credit permanent. As part of an effort to make college accessible to every American, Obama asked Congress to do this as soon as possible. “To compete, higher education must be within the reach of every American,” he said. “That’s why we’ve ended the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that went to banks, and used the savings to make college affordable for millions of students.”
The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) was part of the 2009 economic stimulus bill passed soon after the president took office and was extended in the comprehensive tax package last year. According to the Treasury Department, 12.5 million online education and on campus students took advantage of the college tax credit in 2010.
The latest College Board data shows that the sticker price for colleges continues to rise faster than inflation, amounting to an increase of 7.9% at public campuses and 4.5% at private ones in 2010. Tuition and fees for the current school year average $7,605 for state residents at public four-year colleges and $27,293 at private institutions.
With tuition costs rising in a still-faltering economy, the college tax credit helps Americans gain access to affordable, quality education, which the president believes is the only sure-fire way to make the country’s economy strong and competitive.
“Over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school education,” Obama said. “America has fallen to ninth (globally) in the proportion of young people with a college degree. And so the question is whether all of us — as citizens, and as parents — are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed.”
Obama emphasized that education is key to the country’s ability to compete globally and laid out his vision for America to lead the world in the proportion of college graduates by the year 2020. “If we take these steps — if we raise expectations for every child, and give them the best possible chance at an education, from the day they are born until the last job they take — we will reach the goal that I set two years ago: By the end of the decade, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”
There are several resources available to help students find affordable options to earn a college degree. U.S. News and World Report publishes a “Best Values: Best Colleges” report as part of its rankings each year. They base the rankings on three variables: the ratio of quality to price, percentage of all undergraduates receiving need-based scholarships or grants, and average discount. Only schools ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included, because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that are above average academically.
Virtual college tours have become a new phenomenon, helping students narrow options for brick and mortal schools without having to pay the high cost of visiting the campus in person. Websites such as CollegeClickTV offer a resource for parents and students to find out about everything from curriculum to campus life without ever leaving the house or breaking the bank.
Online degrees have also become a popular option for students who need the flexibility to take classes from home, and are often more affordable than on-campus programs.
Although earning a college degree requires a sacrifice of time and resources, President Obama made an insistent plea throughout his State of the Union Address for America to continue to invest in the future through education. “At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else,” he said.
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