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January 9, 1998

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Thanks to brand-new HOPE scholarships and other initiatives, money will no longer be an obstacle to a college education. For the first time in the nation's history, the only prerequisites to college are preparation and desire. We have delivered on our promise to make 13th and 14th grades as accessible as high school is today. Now you need to seize this opportunity to help us build the promise of America.

President Bill Clinton
January 9, 1998

Today, the President reaffirmed his commitment to further expand educational opportunity for all Americans and he fulfilled another of his educational opportunity commitments by announcing that his balanced budget proposal will include a $70 million increase in funding for the Federal Work-Study Program.

The largest investment in higher education in 50 years.President Clinton continues to identify fiscally responsible policies that help strengthen education and expand college opportunity. To expand college opportunity the President is:

  • Expanding Work Study Opportunities.The Federal-Work Study Program offers undergraduate and graduate students part-time work to help meet their financial needs and to give them work experience helping the campus and surrounding communities. The funding in the President's budget proposal will bring the total number of projected work-study participants to just over one million in the 1999-2000 school year -- a full year earlier than promised.

  • Promoting the Hope Scholarship Credit.is helps make the first two years of college (or post-high school vocational training) universally available. Families are eligible for tax credits of up to $1500 per-student for tuition in a student's first year and another $1500 in the second year. 5.8 million students are estimated to benefit annually

  • Proposing Education IRAs. each child under age 18, families may now deposit $500 per year into an Education IRA in the child's name. Interest on these accounts is exempt from taxation if used for higher education. Taxpayers can withdraw funds from a regular IRA, without penalty, for their own higher education expenses or their spouse, child, or grandchild.

  • Initiating a Life Time Learning Credit. This tax credit helps offset tuition costs for college juniors, seniors, graduate and professional degree students, and adults who go back to school, change careers, or take courses to upgrade their skills. Families receive a 20% tax credit for the first $5,000 of tuition and required fees paid each year through 2002, and for the first $10,000 thereafter. 7.1 million students are expected to benefit annually.

  • Increasing Investment for Pell Grants. For two years, President Clinton has proposed, and Congress has adopted, record increases in the maximum Pell Grant award. Next year, nearly 4 million low-and moderate-income students will receive a Pell Grant of up to $3,000, 30% more than when President Clinton came into office.

  • Improving Access and Opportunity for Student Loans. More than 5 million students and parents will take out $30 billion in Federally-backed student loans this year. Under student loan reforms enacted in the Administration's first year, the up-front fees on those loans have been cut by as much as half, interest costs are lower, and students have more repayment options than ever before, including the pay-as-you-earn (income contingent) repayment plan. The program simplification pioneered by the Direct Loan Program has also spurred improvements to the government-guarantee system, improving all students' access to loans.

  • Instituting AmeriCorps -- a Responsible Way to Pay for College by Doing Community Service. This year, nearly 50,000 young people will take advantage of the opportunity to perform community service, either on a full-time or part-time basis, allowing them to earn an award to pay for college or repay student loans. Participants in the AmeriCorps program earn education awards of up to $4,725 for each year of service.

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