BY LUIS GRONDA
Legislation has been introduced that would quell costs associated with sending your child to the college of their choice.
U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Melville) recently introduced a bill that would ease the burden on college preparation expenses, which include paying for college prep exams like the SAT or ACT, courses preparing for those exams and other tests like Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.
The College Preparation Tax Credit Act of 2014, if passed, would allow families paying for those exams to get a tax credit for up to $500 per child for three years if they need it.
The Congressman discussed his bill at a sit-down with the owners of Khan’s Tutorial in Floral Park, along with other parents living in northeast Queens. Khan’s Tutorial is a tutoring academy that helps students prepare for tests like the SAT. They have nine locations throughout the City, including five in Queens.
Israel said the middle-class is being priced out of paying for college prep exams for students. According to the Congressman, a typical high school student in his district spends $2,500 to apply to 10 colleges.
“And none of that is tax deductible,” he said.
In addition to the important exams students must take to apply to college, the bill would also cover college application fees.
Ivan Khan, one of the owners of Khan’s Tutorial, said they face challenges with their high school students. He said parents often ask them if they get a tax credit for the fees associated with applying for college, but they usually do not.
“There are thousands of American students that are left out because of the increased costs,” Khan said. “We have our students tell us ‘I didn’t apply there because of the extra fee.’”
Sandra Dastagirzada, the Parent Teacher Association president at the Queens High School of Teaching, has three kids, two of which are in college and one who is a sophomore in high school. She said this bill would be a tremendous benefit to parents.
“They come to different programs to prepare, but what about the parents who are dishing out the extra dollars for this preparation that doesn’t get recognized,” Dastagirzada said. “As little as it may seem to some, it is more than what we have right now.”
Israel said he is hoping to gather support from his congressional colleagues and the community as part of his push to get it passed.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.