Tax Credits And Support
Tax credits reduce the amount of tax you owe and may result in a tax refund. To claim tax credits, you need to meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if you have no other filing requirement or owe no income tax.
- Child and dependent care tax credit: This credit is available to people who had to pay for child care for their children so they could work or look for work.
- Earned income tax credit: This tax credit helps low- to moderate-income workers and families get a tax break. If you qualify, you can use the credit to reduce the taxes you owe and possibly increase your refund.
Native Hawaiian Native Alaskan And American Indian Programs
- Tribal Child Care Financial Assistance: Many Tribes and Tribal organizations receive child care grants from the federal government to provide child care financial assistance to Tribal families. There are also more than 150 Head Start and Early Head Start programs that serve American Indian and Alaska Native children. Find these programs with the Head Start Center Locator.
- Child Care Assistance for Indigenous People of Hawaii and other Pacific Islands child care and preschool programs: There are programs in Hawaii that assist with cost of child care and preschool for children of Indigenous People of Hawaii and other Pacific Islands. Families should contact PATCH for more information.
Temporary Assistance For Needy Families
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families , also known as welfare, is another federally funded, state-run benefits program designed to help families achieve independence following temporary difficulty. Qualified recipients may receive help with food, housing, home energy, childcare, and job training. TANF recipients must engage in some type of work activity as defined by their state.
Each state runs its TANF program and determines eligibility criteria. You can apply at your local county social services agency or call your state TANF office for local contact information to sign up for benefits. Qualifying for TANF does not disqualify you from other government benefits.
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Get Help With Utility Bills
Need help paying your heating or phone bill? These programs may be able to help:
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps low-income households cover heating and cooling costs. Grants are issued via states, which receive funding from the Department of Health and Human Services. Each state sets its own eligibility requirements, including income levels.
The Lifeline program offers discounted phone or internet service. You must meet certain eligibility requirements.
Forecast Your Potential Financial Aid
You dont have to wait until your FAFSA is filed and processed to get an idea of what kind of financial aid and assistance you can expect. You can use the Student Aid Estimator to project the amount of financial aid for which youd be eligible.
It can also be helpful to understand how the Department of Educations office of Federal Student Aid uses the information on the FAFSA to decide how much aid each student gets.
The financial details are used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution . This is the Federal Student Aid office estimate of what your family should reasonably be able to pay toward college costs, based on these factors:
- The familys taxed and untaxed income and benefits
- Financial assets, including college savings
- Number of family members attending college concurrently
You can use free online tools like the College Boards to estimate your EFC.
Generally, the FAFSA compares your EFC to the costs youll face in college your cost of attendance and offers financial aid to help bridge that gap. Heres the general formula to illustrate:
Cost of attendance EFC = Financial need
The higher your EFC, the less financial aid you will receive. Unfortunately, according to Randolph, There isnt too much a student can do to change their financial circumstances. However, Randolph noted it is possible to maximize aid eligibility and lessen your EFC if you plan well in advance.
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Beat Financial Aid Deadlines
FAFSA submission periods open on Oct. 1 every year, and they remain open until the end of June a year and a half later but you shouldnt wait to file. File before the deadline, and if you can, file as soon after October 1 as possible, Randolph said.
But if you have a whole 21 months to submit a FAFSA, whats the rush? Well, filing early can have a few benefits:
- Your FAFSA will be received and processed well before the school year when you will need it.
- Find out earlier what aid you qualify for. This can help you plan ahead, budget for college costs and even compare colleges to choose the most affordable option.
- If there are any errors in your FAFSA, youll have time to correct or amend the application so you can receive the correct amount of aid.
- You could get more non-federal aid: If you apply early, youll have a better chance to qualify for non-federal financial aid programs, such as for school-based funding or state grants.
What Is A Grant From The Government
A grant is one of the ways the government funds ideas and projects to provide public services and stimulate the economy. Grants support critical recovery initiatives, innovative research, and many other programs. You can find a list of projects supported by grants in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance . You can also learn about the federal grant process and search for government grants at Grants.gov.
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What Are The Main Types Of Student Financial Aid
Financial aid for education comes in the form of government-backed student loans, private student loans, grants, work-study arrangements, and scholarships. Some are based on need and others on merit . A newer type of arrangement, called an income-sharing agreement , gives students aid in return for a portion of their employment income going forward until the debt is paid off.
Ways To Get Free Money From The Government
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Whoever said nothing in life comes free didnt take into account government programs that help people pay for things like college, day care and a new home. It certainly doesnt hurt to explore your options.
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Registered Education Savings Plans
Canadian parents can take advantage of numerous chances to grow a college fund using a Registered Education Savings Plan . As of 2007, a RESP has no annual contribution limit, but it carries a lifetime contribution limit of $50,000.
Through the Canada Education Savings Grant , the federal government will also contribute 20 percent of that yearâs contributions to the account in the form of a grant if the beneficiary of the RESP is age 17 or under, . Lower income families may qualify for additional grants, and some provinces also contribute. A RESP can stay open for up to 36 years .
If the beneficiary of a CESG does not attend a college or university, he or she must withdraw the grant money from their RESP in order to repay the government. Withdrawals of CESG funds from the RESP are taxable as income to the student, which means they usually pass through with little or no tax under the studentâs tax rate.
An RESP can be invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds or guaranteed investment certificates. The federal government does not offer a tax deduction for RESP contributions, but the savings in the account grow tax-free. Students can later withdraw funds and spend investment earnings on eligible educational expenses.
Food Stamps And Meal Programs During The Covid
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be easier for you and your family to get food stamps and take part in meal programs. Contact your state’s social services agency to see if you’re eligible.
During the pandemic:
Food stamp recipients may receive additional funding. More people may be eligible to receive SNAP during the pandemic than normally.
Parents whose kids’ schools are closed can pick up school meals for their kids to eat at home.
People can enroll in food programs remotely rather than in person. This applies to programs for pregnancy, families, seniors, and people with disabilities.
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Avoiding Financial Aid Scams
Financial aid scams are less prevalent now than they were 10 or 15 years ago, but you’ll still want to remind students to keep their eyes open as they look for financial aid for college. Refer them to StudentAid.gov/scams for tips.
- You can find plenty of sources of financial aid without paying anyone for help or paying an application fee for the aid.
- The first F in “FAFSA” stands for “Free.”
Description:Tips to avoid scams and identity theft while looking for scholarships and other financial aid to pay for college. Resource Type:Handout
How Much Does College Or University School Really Cost In Canada
As you probably already know, going to college or university is a big investment. A study conducted by Macleans in 2018 found that a university education in Canada costs $19,498 per year on average. And college tuition rates arent far behind, depending on what you study.
Beyond tuition fees, which make up 34% of the average annual cost above, there are a handful of additional expenses to consider during your time in college or university. Heres a breakdown of the remaining factors that contribute to the average annual cost of post-secondary education in Canada, based on the answers of 23,348 students surveyed for the Macleans study:
- Public transit: $390
- Extracurricular activities: $195
Students who live at home while going to school can save a good chunk of money, saving about half the amount, spending $9,300 a year on average. Here are more tips on saving money for university and college students in Canada.
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Illinois And Federal Financial Aid Programs
The number of scholarships and grants made through programs administered by ISAC, as well as the individual dollar amount awarded, are subject to sufficient annual appropriations by the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor.
The State of Illinois has many programs and services that deliver financial aid to students in Illinois. Below are some of the state financial aid programs that, dependent upon annual appropriations , may be available. Additionally, a number of financial aid programs are offered by the federal government, and they are listed here, along with links to their descriptions. Be sure to research your options before finalizing your financial aid path. Also, see the links below for more information about financial aid and to determine the status of funding levels for individual programs during a specific academic year.
Note: Programs denoted below by an asterisk are available to undergraduate students only a double asterisk indicates programs for graduate students only. All other programs are for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Prepare Yourself And Your Family
- Make sure your state ID or drivers license is current and available. Shelters and assistance programs may have strict ID requirements.
- If possible, store your belongings. Shelters have limits on how much you may bring.
- Arrange for your mail to be delivered somewhere or talk to your local post office. Many have special services for people who are homeless. You may be able to get a free PO box or receive general delivery service.
- Pack a bag for yourself and each member of your family.
- Keep important documents and needed medications with you.
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The Program Remains In Limbo As The Government Prepares To Defend Its Legality Before The Supreme Court In February
The future of President Bidens student loan forgiveness program remains in question as the government prepares to defend its legality before the Supreme Court.
Next month, the high court will hear arguments in two federal cases challenging the legality of the debt-relief program. The first case is a lawsuit challenging the plan by a group of six Republican-led states that believe the Department of Education is exceeding its authority. The second is a lawsuit in Texas from two individuals who did not fully qualify for the relief and want to eliminate the entire program.
Last week, the Justice Department argued in its first brief defending the policy before the Supreme Court that the White Houses efforts to absolve many Americans of much or all of their student debt are reasonable and fall squarely within the plain text of the law.
Meanwhile, Bidens program will remain on hold, due to a federal injunction, until the legal issues are resolved.
The Fafsa Is A Prerequisite For Federal Loans
Even if a student will not qualify for grants, filing the FAFSA makes them eligible for low-cost federal student loans, which are usually less expensive than private student loans. Even wealthy students will qualify for the unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan and the Federal Parent PLUS Loan. The Federal Stafford Loan is a good way for the student to have skin in the game, since they are unlikely to over-borrow with just a federal student loan.
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Eligible Albertans Can Apply For $100 Monthly Payments Starting January 18
The provincial government says Albertans will get financial relief this month.
In late November the government announced a $2.8 billion inflation relief package as the rising cost of living stretched budgets to their limits.
Part of the announcement was that seniors with a household income under $180,000 and families with children under whose household incomes are under $180,000 would eligible for $100 monthly payments for six months.
Affordability and Utilities Minister Matt Jones said today that eligible Albertans will be able to apply for their payments after creating a verified account on the governments website.
On or after Jan. 18, they can return to alberta.ca/affordable to apply for their affordability payments. Online is the quickest and easiest way to sign up but we will also have other options available for those who need them, Jones said.
Starting Jan. 18, the same day as the portal opens, Albertans will be able to apply in person with any registry agent in the province or through Alberta supports, which has 50 offices across Alberta and and offers services in over 100 languages. Call-in and online support tools will also be available for those who need extra help.
According to the governments news release, payments will start to roll out Jan. 31.
The same $600 over six months is also available to those on support programs like AISH, the Persons with Developmental Disabilities and income support
Search For Financial Assistance From The Government
Benefits.gov is a free website that can help you determine which types of government assistance you might qualify for. You can also find out how and where to apply.
- Using the Benefit Finder, answer questions about yourself and your needs. Afterwards, you can find out if youre eligible for programs to help you pay for:
- Utilities and other necessities
Check back with Benefits.gov in the future to see if youre eligible for additional benefits. You can report major life events or see if new benefit programs have become available.
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Tax Implications For Students
The Canadian government provides additional benefits for graduates who make timely payments on their outstanding student loans. Loan recipients can deduct from their taxable income any interest payments made on federal or provincial loans. Graduates cannot, however, deduct the interest payments made on loans to private lenders or to family members. The student loan interest deduction is a nonrefundable credit, meaning it cannot generate a refund. If you have no income in a given tax year, you can carry that interest forward to any of the next five years and maintain the value of that deduction.
Most of the Canadian provinces and territories, excluding Quebec, do not tax scholarships and financial rewards provided you receive it for a post-secondary program.
How Do You Determine If You Are A Dependent
Financial aid for Canadian students can sometimes vary depending on your dependent status. Under Canadian law, you can be considered a dependent if you are:
- Under the age of 22, without a spouse or common-law partner.
- Above the age of 22 but attending a college or a university full time and financially dependent on at least one parent since before the age of 22.
- Above the age of 22 but financially dependent on at least one parent because of a mental or physical disability since before the age of 22.
Factors like failing to maintain at least 60 percent of a full course load, declaring bankruptcy, letting previous loans go into default or failing to maintain academic progress can also impact eligibility for financial aid.
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Iraq And Afghanistan Service Grant
This grant is specifically for students whose parents passed away during their military services in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Adult students going back to school can apply for this program through FAFSA even if their EFC exceeds the Federal Pell income criteria. However, you must be under 24 years of age or be enrolled in a college program during your parents or guardians death.
If you plan to return to college and want to apply for grants, one of the most important tasks is filling out the FAFSA form. Obtaining federal student aid becomes much easier if you fill out the FAFSA correctly while applying for grant programs. Read our guide on filling out the FAFSA form and applying for financial aid through various grant programs.