Like Causes?

Install the App

house Bill H.R. 3393

Affording College: Consolidating Tax Credits for Higher Education

Argument in favor

Simplifies tax incentives for higher education expenses, helping the neediest students the most. Extends those credits permanently, and restores income eligibility limits.

Argument opposed

Reduces support for many undergraduates, particularly low and middle income nontraditional students. Also, what about benefits for graduate students?

What is House Bill H.R. 3393?

This bill consolidates four existing tax credits for higher education expenses into a single tax benefit. The four provisions in question — the Hope Credit, the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), the Lifetime Learning Credit, and the tuition deduction — would all be rolled into a new AOTC that would be permanently extended. This new credit would: 

  • offer a 100-percent tax credit for the first $2,000 of eligible higher education expenses and a 25-percent tax credit for the next $2,000 of such expenses (for a maximum credit of $2,500). 
  • make the first $1,500 of the credit refundable, meaning that families could receive the benefit whether or not they have Federal income tax liability. 
  • be available for up to four years of post-secondary education at qualifying four-year universities, community colleges, and trade and vocational schools and could be used for offsetting expenses for tuition, fees and course materials.
  • restore income eligibility limits provided by the Hope Scholarship Credit. 


College students, their families, institutions of higher educations, the IRS,

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3393

$96.50 Billion
The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that implementing this legislation would increase federal budget deficits by about $96.5 billion over the 2014-2024 period.

More Information

In Depth: 

Sponsoring Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), has argued that her bill will streamline "the number of education provisions [while] retooling those that are most effective" to reduce confusion and simplify the tax code. 

The Obama Administration has explicitly stated that it will not support this bill because "it is part of a broader effort to pass permanent, unpaid-for extensions of traditional tax extenders that, taken together, would add approximately $800 billion to the deficit."

The current American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) is set to expire at the end of 2017. 


The Education Trust (In Support)

(Photo Credit: Flickr user COD Newsroom


Student and Family Tax Simplification Act

Official Title

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to consolidate certain tax benefits for educational expenses, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make improvements to the child tax credit, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed July 24th, 2014
    Roll Call Vote 227 Yea / 187 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedOctober 30th, 2013

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    Though this form of financial aid isn't as accessible to low-income families as is grant aid, the United States Student Association fully supports any targeted benefits to enhance the affordability and accessibility of higher education. When more students are educated, our workforce becomes more productive, and when our workforce is more productive it leads to the creation of more wealth that can be reallocated to ensure more students are educated.
    Like (2)
    These special Americans wanting to get a larger piece of the pie need to be help. It starts very early long we need to help and want our your striving for something more. People say bad neighbors or area, if we can reach our young the wright way the sky's the limit.
    Anything to simplify the 73 thousand page tax code....