Mikulski Calls Tuition Tax Credit "Huge Victory for Families"

Mikulski Amendment provides a $4,000 Tuition Tax Credit for Each Year of College

During debate of the Fiscal Year 2006 budget last night, the Senate passed an amendment introduced by Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) that makes college tuition more affordable for families. The legislation, now included in the FY 06 federal budget, provides families with a $4,000 tuition tax credit for every year of college. Mikulski calls this a huge victory for American families paying for college.

"College is part of the American dream. It shouldn't be part of a financial nightmare for families," said Senator Mikulski. "College tuition is on the rise. Our students are graduating with so much debt, it's like their first mortgage. Families are looking for help. Unfortunately, the President's budget didn't offer much hope. That's why I offered an amendment that would give every family sending a child to college a $4,000 tuition tax credit. I'm so proud my colleagues joined me in helping to make sure every student has access to a college education."

Senator Mikulski's amendment provides a $4,000 tax credit for tuition for each year of college. The tax credit would help everyone from the first-time student attending a four-year college to a mid-career student attending a community college. This amendment is now part of the Fiscal Year 2006 Budget. Senator Mikulski will now fight to make sure funding for this tuition tax credit is included in the federal checkbook. Tuition at colleges across the country has been steadily increasing in recent years. In Maryland, University of Maryland tuition has increased by 30% over the last two years. And tuition at some of Maryland's community colleges is up approximately 10% since last year. Financial aid isn't keeping up with these rising costs. Today, Pell Grants cover only 40% of average costs at a four-year public college, compared to 80% twenty years ago. The average undergraduate student debt from college loans is $17,000.

"Our middle class families are stressed and stretched," continued Senator Mikulski. "They don't know how they can afford to send their kids to college. College tuition is on the rise and Financial Aid isn't keeping up. We need to invest in human capital. Forty percent of new jobs in the next ten years will require a college education. A $4,000 tax credit would help cover 60 percent of the tuition at the University of Maryland. And it would be enough to cover the cost of tuition at most community colleges. This tuition tax credit helps make college more affordable for everyone."

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