Monthly Archives: May 2012

Targeting Low-Income Kids: More Arguments, Making Even Less Sense

Kids PlayingAs we’ve written before, the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) remains under the gun and, with it, the support on which more than 4 million families rely for feeding, clothing and housing their kids. Two U.S. Senate bills now have joined earlier, U.S. House proposals aimed at eliminating ACTC refunds for households who file their taxes with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) – thus targeting many working taxpayers who are only complying with federal law mandating that they pay taxes. Read the rest of this entry

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend to Our Armed Forces and Military VITA Volunteers

Even weeks past the tax-filing season, VITA issues remain important topics. Congress is still working on a federal budget whose details will have great bearing on VITA services for the coming year. Federal VITA Grant applications are due May 31 (just a reminder!). And at NCTC, we believe Memorial Day offers a great opportunity to highlight the critical yet often-overlooked role of Military VITA programs in delivering vital services to taxpayers in need of help. Read the rest of this entry

New Policy Brief Highlights College Access and Affordability Issues

Higher Ed Policy Brief

NCTC’s new policy brief outlines policies that enhance college accessibility and affordability

In conjunction with its Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill today, NCTC released its latest brief on higher education, Strengthening Higher Education Access & Affordability. The brief lays out the broad spectrum of issues and challenges facing students today. With our economy continuing to struggle on its way to recovery, it is increasingly important that we ensure new workers are trained to meet the demands of the job market before them.

For many, this means some form of postsecondary education is necessary to ensure they’ll be able to join our skilled workforce. Unfortunately, this also means these students and their families will need to find ways to bear the substantial costs of achieving their educational goals. Read the rest of this entry

Year after Year, Financial Aid U Helps Students Achieve College Success (Video)

Financial Aid U

Since 2008, FAU has served more than 8,000 students from coast to coast

This post is part of our week-long series on higher education affordability and accessibility. Check back each day for a new post!

A forthcoming research paper confirms what we’ve known anecdotally for a while: the FAFSA remains a huge barrier to college access for low-income students. With that knowledge, the Citi Foundation and Center for Economic Progress formed the Financial Aid U (FAU) project in 2008.

Initially in Chicago, and now nationwide, the Financial U program has helped more than 8,000 students fill out their FAFSA in the past four years. In 2012 alone, students had access to nearly $30 million in federal and state aid.

Read the rest of this entry

What’s the Congressional Briefing and Day of Action All About?

This post is part of our week-long series on higher education affordability and accessibility. Check back each day for a new post!

Unfortunately, not all of our members will be able to join us for our Congressional Briefing and Day of Action on Thursday. Earlier this week, NCTC Public Policy & Research Director Sean Noble took some time to explain what our Policy and Advocacy team will be doing this week by answering three simple questions:

  1. What’s the Congressional Briefing and Day of Action all about?
  2. What will advocates be doing on Capitol Hill?
  3. Why is college access so important?

Take a few minutes to listen to Sean explain the importance of higher education access and our field’s advocacy work as a whole. And remember – you may not be in Washington, DC, but there are plenty of ways you can get involved from home!

By Dan Fair, Manager of Communications & Member Relations

Guest Post: A Better Way to Make College More Affordable

New America Foundation

Rachel Black serves as Policy Analyst, Asset Building at the New America Foundation.

This guest post is part of our week-long series on higher education affordability and accessibility. Rachel will be speaking at our Congressional Briefing on Thursday, May 17 on Capitol Hill. 

The wrangling over the jump in student loan rates scheduled to take place on July 1st has placed renewed focus on making college affordable. This is critical time to be having this conversation because the value of a college degree is only increasing in the post-recession economy, but, so is the cost of acquiring it.

In 2010, for example, 88 percent of recent college graduates with a college degree were employed and, on average, earning $581 a week compared to only 64 percent of their peers with just a high school diploma who were earning $305.

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