On Monday, Oct. 10, United States Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy joined with United States Secretary of Education Richard Riley in a live national satellite teleconference on financial aid. The congresswoman was also joined by Joan Warren, director of financial aid at Hofstra University; Scott Miller and Tony Olivero of Sallie Mae loan processing agency and Steven Labiner a certified financial planner with Prime Financial Services.
Congresswoman McCarthy said, "Everywhere I go on Long Island people keep telling me that they are concerned about the rising costs of public and private colleges. Therefore, I put together this financial aid seminar to let people know that if their children want to go to college, there is a way and help is available."
The congresswoman continued, "These financial experts will help all parents, regardless of income level, figure out ways to send their children to college. They will help guide parents and students through the financial aid filing process, teach them creative and innovative ways to look for financial help and tell them what is available for them under the balanced budget deal Congress passed earlier this summer."
The financial aid seminar specifically addressed three key provisions Congresswoman McCarthy worked to pass and President Clinton signed into law which include:
A $1,500 HOPE Scholarship for first-time students entering college for the first two years of college.
A 20 percent tuition tax credit for juniors, seniors and graduate students that can be applied to the first $5,000 of tuition and fees through 2002 and to the first $10,000 thereafter.
Penalty-free Individual Retirement Account withdrawals for undergraduate, post-secondary vocational and graduate education expenses. Also, taxpayers are allowed to deposit $500 each year into an education IRA.
Congresswoman McCarthy added, "The costs of private and public colleges and universities across the nation continue to rise. A college education is an expensive purchase. I went back to work just before my son began working on his undergraduate degree so I could help him pay for school."
She concluded, "Parents on Long Island and across the nation are taking out second mortgages on their home and holding down two and three jobs just to earn enough money to pay their child's college education. That's wrong. That's why during the balanced budget debate, I worked to ensure that parents with children poised to go to college had some help in the form of tax credits and individual investment options."
For further information regarding available financial aid for college, please call Congresswoman McCarthy's office at 489-7066.