Saturday, April 11, 2015

Caring Causes: Americans for Affordable College Costs

With costs for post-secondary education continuing to skyrocket out of sight and concerns growing about the crushing burden of student loan debt, a new nonprofit organization, Americans for Affordable College Costs (AACC), is being launched to help parents and young people. AACC is available online at

AACC executive director James A. Boyle said:  “We aim to help families achieve the American dream – an affordable college education and a bright, financially successful future for their kids.  AACC will be an important new information source and voice for parents and students, fighting for their rights on key issues, including making the tuition tax deduction a permanent part of our tax code, fighting against government cuts to education funding, and protecting the financial rights of families who invested in prepaid college savings accounts that may be threatened by financial insolvency.”

The AACC agenda includes:

* Fighting to restore the tuition tax deduction and to make it a permanent incentive in the nation’s tax code, keeping education more affordable.

* Supporting extension to all 50 states the state tax deduction for contributions to 529 plan college savings accounts, regardless of where the account owner resides.

* Developing better protections for student loans, including a right to more transparency in student loan terms, a fair loan with full disclosure provisions, robust enforcement to prevent abuses, and the right to legitimate recourse after graduation in the event of a medical catastrophe (with financial protections in that instance for co-signing parents).

* Supporting efforts to allow families to refinance student loans at now available lower interest rates, to reduce the staggering costs and long-term burdens of loan repayment on students and co-signing family members.

In addition, AACC will provide parents and students innovative benefits and critical information that families need to lower their tuition bills and make the dream of a college education more affordable. AACC will provide this information, prepared by experts in higher education, consumer rights, and personal finance, through its website, as well as via newsletters, blogs, seminars, videos, webcasts, telephone town hall meetings, outreach through local and national media, and by informing local, state and national government leaders about policies and opportunities to reduce the skyrocketing cost of college. 

In the process, AACC will provide public pragmatic “how-to” content and guidance to help families squeeze more savings out of tight family budgets. These savings can be used, if desired, to augment college savings efforts.

Next month, AACC will unveil its new Lower Your Tuition program, a national membership program featuring benefits and important information designed to save members up to one full year of tuition at over 300 participating colleges and universities across the U.S.

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