Washington, D.C – High unemployment rates and the economic downturn have many Kentuckians considering heading back to school. And, at least 72,000 of those soon could be eligible for a tax credit to help defray the costs. The U.S. House version of the economic rescue package includes expanding the "Hope Credit" for college making it partially refundable and allowing low- and middle-income families to apply. Study author Chye-Ching Huang is optimistic about the potential change. She says the Hope Credit was originally proposed to help families keep up with double-digit college cost increases, but they were only available to high-income families.
"Absolutely, we want to make these credits do what they were designed to do in the first place, which is encourage college enrollment."
Opponents of expanding the tax credit say there are already low- and middle-income family college assistance programs in place, like Pell Grants.