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Comparing Financial Aid Offers

Comparing financial aid award letters from different schools can be confusing. Although there is a standard set of information that should be included– total Cost of Attendance, gift aid offered, loans and work study as applicable– each school has its own format for the letter including where certain elements are listed and whether the award lists your EFC so you…

Free Money: AOTC Claiming Strategies

Once upon a time, the American Opportunity Tax Credit was a pretty simple proposition: Families could get a $2,500 annual tax credit for $4,000 of out-of-pocket college tuition expenses for their dependent student, as long as their income was below the IRS threshold for the credit. However, tax law changes over the past few years have created some opportunities for creative claiming strategies, opening the tax credit up to a larger population.

Education Tax Credits: AOTC

Currently two tax credits exist to help defray higher education expenses, the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit. Each is slightly different but for most families, the AOTC is the most beneficial. The maximum annual AOTC credit is $2,500 per student. Eligibility is limited to undergraduates who are enrolled at least half time for at least…