How the Deal on the Fiscal Cliff Affects Financial Aid

Ann McClure's picture

The fact that the country didn't hurtle off the fiscal cliff is of particular importance to current and prospective college students, as the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which passed late Tuesday night, will affect student financial aid.

We’ve asked Mark Kantrowitz, an expert on financial aid and the founder of, to discuss some of the details of the legislation that affect how students pay for college.

Here are some provisions of the bill that affect financial aid, as highlighted by Mr. Kantrowitz:

The American Opportunity Tax Credit, which helps defray undergraduate college education expenses by allowing borrowers to deduct up to $2,500, has been extended for five years, through the end of 2017.

The Tuition and Fees Deduction, which allows taxpayers to claim up to $4,000 in tuition expenses, has also been extended. The deduction, which was set to expire at the end of 2011, will continue through the end of 2013.

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