February 9, 2010 | Adam Sorensen | Leave a comment At the beginning of 2009, Congress and the president approved the Stimulus bill which designated $30 billion toward affordability initiatives. This means that the government designated more money in order to help Americans finance college and earn a college degree.ï¿½ The credit is aimed at helping middle income Americans afford education but in order to claim the credit individuals must meet the following criteria: Individuals that want to apply for the tax credit must be an eligible citizen or legal resident of the United States The program is available to eligible students through 2010 Students must be enrolled in an accredited and approved university or college which includes those that are eligible to participate in Title IV Federal Student Aid Students must be enrolled in a program leading to an undergraduate degree or other approved education credential Students must be enrolled full time in order to receive the $2,500 but it phases out for part-time students However, if students or their families do not earn enough to pay income taxes then they can receive a $1,000 refund Students who use other federal aid may not be eligible for the Tax Credit Students are allowed to apply for all four years of undergraduate education Single tax filers must earn less than $80,000 on their modified adjusted gross income needs to be eligible to claim the credit. Joint tax filers must have a modified adjusted gross income less than $160,000 per year. If incomes are above the preceding amounts then students may be eligible for partial tuition tax credits but they phase out with income level The costs of tuition also include qualifying expenses like required course materials 40% of the credit is refundable If parents want to claim the credit it must be for their dependent child’s college expenses and listed as that way the other person’s tax form File your tax form and see a qualified tax accountant Amount The American Opportunity Tax Credit is the way to claim your stimulus cash. The maximum tuition tax credit is $2,500 which is 100 percent reimbursement for the first $2,000 spent on higher education and 25 percent of the next $2,000 spent on educational expenses. So this tax credit makes college more affordable by reducing the amount of money individuals pay in taxes.