Tuition coverage for college students proposed
The cost of college tuition soon could be affordable for more students and their families.
Ohio families and students face the highest burden of student loan debt in the nation, with the Buckeye State ranking 45th nationally for college affordability, according to a news release May 17 from the Ohio House of Representatives.
With college out of reach for too many families and students, state Rep. Dan Ramos, D-Lorain, introduced legislation May 17 to cover 90 percent of the expected family costs for students to attend college in Ohio.
The Ohio Lets Everyone Achieve Right Now (LEARN) tax credit would make Ohio the first state to make college truly affordable again for all students, the release said.
“Our economy increasingly demands a college degree, but for many Ohioans, college remains unaffordable,” Ramos said. “Simply freezing tuition that is already unaffordable isn’t a long-term solution to make college more accessible.
“Families and students shouldn’t have to mortgage their future to pay for college. The Ohio LEARN program would allow graduates to focus on their careers and pursuing their dreams upon graduation — not managing decades of crippling debt.”
The Ohio LEARN tax credit would create an individualized, refundable tax credit covering 90 percent of a payer’s college costs, or Expected Family Contribution, spread out over 10 years, subtracting aid or scholarships received for the total cost of attendance, according to the release.
Students ultimately would be responsible for 10 percent of their Expected Family Contribution, ensuring an equitable amount of skin in the game for each student, the release said.
Currently, colleges and universities are required by the federal government to report their full cost of education.
Each potential student seeking aid also must complete the Free Application for Student Aid. Using education cost and Free Application for Student Aid information, federal officials produce an Expected Family Contribution, which represents the maximum a family could potentially pay for a student to attend college.
The Expected Family Contribution factors in a number of variables such as savings, income and siblings.
A student’s Expected Family Contribution then is used to determine eligibility for loans and direct aid, according to the release.
The Ohio LEARN program would be available after each taxable year for students paying cash, or when loans become due for students financing their education.
The tax credit would go to the payer.
If the student pays or finances their education themselves, they would receive the tax benefit.
If parents pay, they will receive the benefit under the program, the release said.