THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE TOUTS INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE 21ST CENTURY SKILLS FOR 21ST CENTURY JOBS Announces that 82,000 Iowa Adults Can Now Get College Tax Credits
Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced today that up to 82,000 Iowa adults can get $46.7 million in Lifetime Learning Tax Credits. The Vice President has previously announced that 67,000 Iowa students can get $61.7 million in Hope Scholarships next year to attend college or take post-college courses to improve their skills.
President Clinton proposed both of these measures and signed them into law last year as part of the balanced budget legislation. The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit went into effect last week, meaning that, for the first time, millions of Americans can use these tax credits. The Hope Scholarship went into effect in January 1998. Together, these initiatives represent the largest increase in federal support for access to higher education since the GI bill.
"These new investments in the education and training of college students and adults will give them the 21st century skills they need to get and hold good jobs in an increasingly competitive new economy," Vice President Gore said. "The more educational tools our students and adults have at their disposal, the more we can hope to increase what they can earn."
The Lifetime Learning tax credit is targeted to adults going back to school to improve their skills or take more courses, and to college juniors, seniors, graduate and professional students. A family will receive a 20% tax credit for the first $5,000 of tuition and fees paid each year through 2002, and the first $10,000 thereafter.
The Hope Scholarship gives students a tax credit of up to $1,500 for tuition and fees for the first two years of college. Both are targeted to help especially working and middle-income families and students.
Nationally, 7.2 million adults could receive Lifetime Learning Tax Credits and 5.9 million students could get Hope Scholarships.
The President and Vice President are working to build on these investments by further expanding access to lifetime learning for all Americans. They have called on Congress to enact the President's education agenda, including: reducing class size in the early grades to a national average of 18; hiring another 100,000 well-prepared teachers nation-wide; constructing and modernizing buildings in over 5,000 schools; expanding access to quality after-school care to another 500,000 children a year; linking every school and classroom to the Internet by the year 2000; and supporting college-school partnerships that will give students and their families mentoring and information about attending college.
"We have worked hard to make college more affordable and accessible for all Americans," U.S. Education Secretary Richard W. Riley said. "These tax credits and increased investments in education will continue to make college and additional training possible for many students of all ages who want and need it."
Today, students over 24 make up 40 percent of all recipients of Pell grant college scholarships and nearly 30 percent of all recipients of federal student loans.