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Financial Aid

The 3 Tax Breaks You Can’t Afford to Miss if You’re a College Student

Posted by Greg Lindberg on Feb 21, 2018 10:16:09 AM

Tax season is officially underway at the Internal Revenue Service. This means income tax returns that account for your earnings in 2017 are due by Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

If you’re one of the millions of college students pursuing a degree to launch or advance your career, you may be eligible to claim a few tax benefits that can help you reduce your bill to Uncle Sam and keep more of your money.

Let’s explore three of these key IRS tax breaks for education.

1. American Opportunity Tax Credit

The American Opportunity Tax Credit is an IRS benefit available to college students themselves, those who claim students as dependents on their income tax returns, or even spouses of students.

This credit is Worth up to $2,500 per year for each eligible student, and it can only be claimed for a student’s first four years of attending either a postsecondary college or university or a vocational school. Eligible students must be seeking a formal college degree or other recognized education-related credential.

Keep in mind that the AOTC is partially refundable, which means you can claim up to $1,000 of the credit, even if you do not owe any tax.

Those who claim this credit cannot earn more than $80,000 as single filers or $160,000 for couples who file joint tax returns. The credit is phased out when modified adjusted gross income amounts reach these levels.

2. Lifetime Learning Credit

The Lifetime Learning Credit is worth up to $2,000 per tax return, per year. This is regardless of the number of students who qualify for it. So, if two parents have two or three dependents in college, they can only receive up to this $2,000 maximum value in total, not $2,000 per student.

The nice perk of the Lifetime Learning Credit is that it is available for all years in which a student is enrolled in a postsecondary educational institution, unlike the four-year limit to the AOTC. It also applies to expenses related to courses one takes to learn or improve upone skills within a particular trade.

Modified adjusted gross income limits for this credit are $65,000 for individual filers and $130,000 for joint filers.

Important notes about the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit:

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Topics: American Opportunity Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, Tuition and fees deduction

18 Money Moves First-Time College Students Should Make in 2018

Posted by Greg Lindberg on Jan 8, 2018 12:23:34 PM

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Topics: financial aid, First-time college students, Educatoin tax benefits

Center For Online Learning Offers New Scholarships For Working Adults

Posted by Saint Leo University Online on Jun 22, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Two new scholarships designed for adults working in public safety professions and as health care practitioners who want to earn a college degree online are now available.

In honor of working adults who serve their communities while achieving their educational goals, Saint Leo University’s Center for Online Learning has established two new scholarships: the Public Safety Scholarship and the Caring Professions Scholarship.

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Topics: Paying for College

Save Student Financial Aid

Posted by Saint Leo University Online on May 26, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Saint Leo’s financial literacy expert explains what’s happening with the federal budget and why college students need to be concerned.

By Amanda Black,
Associate Director of Communication and Financial Literacy

Could you use another grant or scholarship?

How about an affordable federal loan to help cover educational expenses?

Even though most college students would answer these questions with a loud yes, Congress is actually trying to reduce financial aid – not increase it.

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Topics: Paying for College

Get Financially Fit: 10 Tips for Students

Posted by Saint Leo University Online on Apr 13, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Money begets money, or so the old saying goes. So how can you make, save, and manage your money so that you have more?

By Amanda Black,
Associate Director of Communication and Financial Literacy

Bet you didn’t know that April is National Financial Literacy Month?

While everyone knows that April 15 is the filing deadline for U.S. federal income tax returns, (Two days from now, in case you forgot!) the fact that an entire month is dedicated to improving understanding of financial principles and practices is as obscure an observance as International Guitar Month (also April).

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Topics: Paying for College

How To Afford College As An Adult

Posted by Saint Leo University Online on Mar 9, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Adults with families and financial responsibilities don’t have to defer the dream of earning a college degree. Here are some tips that may help.

By Amanda Black
Associate Director of Communication and Financial Literacy

Are you an adult thinking of attending college but concerned about the cost?

If your answer is “yes,” then you are not alone.

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Topics: Paying for College

Stay Out Of Debt This Holiday Shopping Season

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Dec 2, 2014 7:27:00 AM

Saint Leo finance professor offers practical advice to help you avoid additional debt from holiday spending.

If you’re a student in an online degree program with a tuition bill to pay every term, you keep a close eye on your cash flow. So you do many of the common sense things to save money on gifts and other holiday-related expenses such as:

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Topics: Paying for College, Saving Money

Fund Offers Veteran Students Emergency Financial Assistance

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Jan 24, 2014 3:13:00 PM

Veteran students studying on-ground or online who face financial hardship due to an unexpected or emergency situation can find temporary assistance.

Saint Leo University alumnus Jamal Lowe had served for seven years in the U.S. Navy, an experience he says prepared him “for just about any obstacle that a man could face.”

That was until his senior year at Saint Leo when he encountered a financial emergency – an unexpected delay in his veterans’ benefits – and faced possible eviction from his home.

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Holiday Shopping Tip For Students: Mind Your Credit Score!

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Nov 21, 2013 8:21:00 AM

Beware of the lasting impact overspending this holiday season could have on your credit score, if you’re not careful.

You knew it as soon as you saw your first red Starbucks coffee cup – the holiday shopping season had arrived, well in advance of Thanksgiving Day discounts and Black Friday doorbusters.

And since there’s nothing like a peppermint mocha or a gingerbread latte to put you in a festive mood, it’s easy to get caught up in holiday-shopping hoopla.

In fact, an annual survey conducted by global management company Accenture indicates that consumers expect to spend more on gift buying this year.

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Topics: Paying for College

Don't Go Broke Paying For College

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Oct 18, 2013 8:55:00 AM

Saint Leo offers a free web tool to help empower students to make informed financial decisions about paying for college: AccessReady.

While it’s true that more people are attending college than ever before (13.8 million 20 years ago compared to 21 million last year), it’s no surprise that more people are also taking out loans to pay for school.

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Topics: Paying for College

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