U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady recently visited Lone Star College-Kingwood to introduce legislation he will be presenting to Congress to expand the eligibility for the Hope Scholarship Tax Credit.
"Everything we can do to try to make college more affordable for students and their parents, we ought to do - especially for the first two years which are critical," said Brady.
The bill would allow college students, their spouses or parents to include the costs of books, supplies and room and board in the Hope Scholarship Tax Credit. Currently, the tax credit only allows taxpayers to claim tuition and fees paid to the college for the first two years.
The American Association of Community College, which supports the bill, says that the other costs associated with going to college like books, supplies, transportation, and room and board are far more expensive than tuition and should be included in the tax credits.
Brady said, "While it is good for families and students to take advantage of the credit, much of it goes unused because we are not including some of those expensive costs that go along with going to college."
Lone Star College-Kingwood President Dr. Linda Stegall and members from sister colleges listened attentively as Congressman Brady outlined the bill. Dr. Stegall said, "This bill would be a huge boon for us in community colleges."
"In particular this bill will help part time students and middle income families. Part time students make up 60 percent of community college students in this country and this bill will allow them to take full advantage of the tax credit," said Brady.
"This is the front door for higher education and we want to make that door wider and help people walk through it and expanding the Hope Scholarship tax credit will help. Books, supplies and room and board add up quickly," said Brady.
Ray Laughter, Vice Chancellor of External Affairs at Lone Star College System said, "This is how our congress is supposed to work. This bill will help millions of student achieve the goals they have in life."
Registration for the spring semester is going on now. Students can register in one of three ways: phone, online or on campus. Classes are offered days, evenings, or weekends in traditional, Internet, video, TV and independent study formats. Current students can register by telephone at 281-519-6625. Former and current students can register online at kingwood.lonestar.edu/registration.
For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281-312-1600 or visit our Web site at http://kingwood.lonestar.edu/.
Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including Cy-Fair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, and Tomball, six centers and the Lone Star College-University Center. With 49,250 students, it is the largest college system in the Houston area, and third largest community college district in Texas. To learn more, visit www.lonestar.edu.