State of the Union: Education edition

State of the Union: Education edition

What did you think of last night’s State of the Union address?

For me, a highlight was when President Obama stressed the need for higher education:  

“The education race doesn’t end with a high school diploma.To compete, higher education must be within reach of every American… And this year, I ask Congress to go further, and make permanent our tuition tax credit—worth $10,000 for four years of college.”

I’m thankful the President gave a nod to the fact that our country is on the brink of a student loan crisis. Did you know, for example, that our total student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt for the first time in our country’s history? We owe $884 billion in student loans, compared to $796 billion in revolving debt like credit cards. I talk to so many young people who did everything right—except they got in over their heads with student loans and now they’re starting off their professional lives owing thousands, sometimes as much as a hundred thousand dollars, to lenders. Anything we can do to lessen this burden is a step in the right direction.

And that “tuition tax credit” President Obama mentioned is one such step. Also known as the American Opportunity Credit, it allows anyone who pays tuition (whether it’s someone paying for his own grad school or parents paying for their child’s college) to claim a credit of up to $2,500 a year for education expenses. You can claim this credit if your income is $80,000 or lower (for those filing singly) or $160,000 or lower (for those filing jointly). For more information about this tax credit, check out the IRS website.

On a personal note, here’s another line I got a kick out of: “We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair.” Hear, hear!

Did the President address the topics that matter most to you?

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