Blog Archives

Partnership between Opportunity Nation and National Community Tax Coalition Provides Helpful Lens for Looking at Poverty

Cash and ChangeWhen most people think of taxes, they typically don’t make a connection to the idea of “economic opportunity.” But the truth is, tax time is a crucial moment for many American families who are able to take advantage of refundable tax credits for which they may qualify. These include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC), or the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC). Qualifying families can use their refunds to pay for basic needs or use the money as a catalyst to start saving in case of emergency, such as opening a savings account or buying a U.S. Savings Bond. In addition, the heightened attention paid to family finances at tax time can open the door to other services, such as credit counseling or receiving assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Read the rest of this entry


February is Financial Aid Awareness Month!

graduation_000The month of February is dedicated to a topic near and dear to our heart, Financial Aid Awareness month. Our efforts around empowering low-income, first generation students have focused around this topic with several of our initiatives, including most recently our College Assistance Program and our Financial Aid U Training Institute. Read the rest of this entry

New Policy Brief Highlights Need to Protect and Improve Financial Aid

higher ed briefMany high school students and young adults are turning to college in order to increase their future job and earnings prospects. Yet, with ever-increasing higher education costs, far too many students and their families are coming up short, and accumulating burdensome debt. NCTC’s newest policy brief, “Investing in Our Future: Financial Aid Policies that Increase Access and Affordability in Higher Education,” examines some of the recent changes in the financial aid system, on both the state and the federal levels, and provides some recommendations to protect and bolster these programs, allowing higher education to become an affordable reality for any student, regardless of his or her income. Read the rest of this entry

FAU Allows Students to Reach Their Full Potential

Grad HatThe voting continues until Tuesday, October 15th for NCTC and the Citi Foundation for the Best Partnership Award for the Financial Aid U program. You can vote once per day, every day!

With funding from the Citi Foundation, Financial Aid U (FAU) has helped put more than 8,000 students across the U.S. on the path to earning a college degree. Our program helps steer students through the complex financial aid process and unlocks millions of dollars in federal and state aid and loan funding. For these students, financial aid is a crucial determining factor in their decision and ability to pursue a college degree. Read the rest of this entry

Help Us Win! Citi and NCTC are Finalists!

GraphicWe are proud to announce that NCTC and Citi have been named a finalist for the Best Partnership Award, organized by the Business Civic Leadership Center, for the joint implementation of Financial Aid U! Read the rest of this entry

Student Loan Interest Rates: Compromise (Finally!) Reached

Image courtesy of ddpavumba at

Image courtesy of ddpavumba at

Last Friday, President Obama officially signed into law a bipartisan compromise bill that lawmakers say will save students thousands of dollars in student-loan interest payments after they graduate. NCTC, particularly through the Financial Aid U and College Assistance Programs, is committed to ensuring low- and moderate-income students are able to afford the higher education they want to get ahead. Here’s a brief overview of the compromise that was reached, after this summer saw a flurry of proposals and counter-proposals attempting to address the student loan issue. Read the rest of this entry