Students Seek Different Ways to Pay for College

Students from all different types of economic backgrounds are trying to seep their way through the process of paying for college, yet many of them are complaining about the same thing: a lack of education when it comes to the different routes one can go for paying for their education.

President Barack Obama’s recent decision to keep the American Opportunity Tax Credit back in January it was an opportunity for parents and students to have another method for paying for college. Also known as AOTC was introduced in 2009; the tax credit is partially refundable for up to $2,500 a year for four years of college.

The credit, originally created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was slated to be discontinued this year because of recent need of budget cuts in Washington. However it was extended till 2012 as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization and Job Creation Act, according to reports at International Business Times.

With the recent decision, how have students been using this opportunity? President Schwarz of Purchase College sent an email to the entire campus in February about the opportunity. However some students remember receiving the email, but glanced over the important details.

Brittany Houlihan, a Journalism and History sophomore has been paying for school on her own said Purchase could promote more awareness.

“The way the school organizes their email would be better if it said in the subject line Students with Financial Needs, more students would actually read the email rather than delete it,” she said. “An email and a flyer here and there aren’t wide spread enough.”

Alyssa Neuner, a junior who’s studying Media, Society and the Arts just moved from New York to Maryland and is dealing with the change in tuition.

“I actually received this tax credit last tax season because my parents just found out that they got it, they were like what the hell is this? They had no clue either. I found it weird considering I read the news I felt like I should have known more about it.”

Neuner is not sure if she will receive the tax credit this year.

“I went to community college so I wouldn’t to be in so much debt after college. My parents make too much money so I didn’t get any financial aid. They aren’t willing to take out parent plus loans, so for the last three years I’ve been working at Target and putting myself through school. So it sucks to know even with this tax credit I can’t even receive it,” said Erik Alfonseca a perspective Purchase student who will be transferring in the fall from Orange County Community College in New York.

Kevin Stump, Campus Project Coordinator of NYPRIG said, “Higher education is one of the many things we discuss at our meetings. We just sent out an email about the recent budget cuts in Albany and how it affected the SUNY system. This is why we try to educate students, but it tends to fall flat sometimes.”


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