53rd Senate District
George H. Winner, Jr.
George H. Winner, Jr.
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Proposals include TAP expansion and enhanced tuition assistance credit, along with incentives to keep students living and working in New York after graduation

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

<i>The Senate has approved a wide-ranging plan to help students and families better afford rising college costs.</i>

Albany, N.Y.-- The New York State Senate approved today legislation co-sponsored by Senator George H. Winner, Jr. (R-C, Elmira) to expand New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), enhance the college tuition tax credit for families and take other actions to assist students and their families with rising college costs.

"We’ve taken appropriate action this year to demand appropriate oversight of the student loan industry. But the sheer enormity of this loan industry also sends a clear signal that students and their families need help with the daunting challenge of affording a college education," said Winner, a member of the Senate Higher Education Committee. "It’s wise to invest in our young people, and the future quality of our workforce."

The Senate plan includes proposals to expand TAP eligibility, enhance the tuition tax credit for families, establish a student loan debt relief program, provide veterans assistance and create a math, science and engineering technology program for New York’s students.

Specific initiatives contained in the Senate plan would:

> increase the income eligibility and award levels for TAP. For households with dependent students, for example, the income eligibility cap for TAP would be increased from $80,000 to $100,000. The minimum TAP award for families with dependent students would be increased from $500 to $1,000;

> increase the amount of deductible tuition expenses for New York families from $10,000 to $14,000. The state’s tuition tax credit will increase from 4 to 5 percent of eligible tuition, or a maximum of $700, up from the current $400;

> assist students with college loans and give them an incentive to stay in New York State by establishing a "New York State Student Loan Debt Relief Program" to provide a tax credit of up to 50 percent for college graduates (maximum of $1,000) toward student loan repayments per year for those earning $50,000 or less. The tax credit would be available for five years. To be eligible, tax filers would be required to remain an employed resident of New York State during the period they claim the tax credit and must also have received a degree from an approved higher education institution in New York;

> establish the New York State Math, Science and Engineering Technology Retention Program to increase the pool of science, engineering and technology professionals in the state and to keep these graduates in New York. A $1,000 state grant would be awarded in the first year to 1,000 undergraduate or graduate students living in New York State with a degree in math, science or engineering technology for each year of employment in any science, engineering or technology field, other than teaching, in New York State for up to five years. When fully effective in five years the program would award 5,000 grants annually; and

> increase the maximum tuition assistance grant to Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan or Iraq veterans from the current $2,000 to $4,350.



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