December 15, 2015

Wyden Secures Major Provision of Recently Introduced College Affordability Bill

Bipartisan Deal Makes Part of Wyden's PARTNERSHIPS Act Permanent - A Huge Step Toward Making College More Affordable for Students and Families

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced a bipartisan deal on a major part of a bill he introduced to lower the cost of college by providing much-needed tax relief and greater economic certainty for students and their families in Oregon and across the country.

A centerpiece of Wyden’s PARTNERSHIPS Act was included in the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, which congressional leaders released tonight. The bill helps working families and makes permanent the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC). Without this legislation in place, this vital higher education provision runs the risk of disappearing after two years, leaving students and their families facing uncertainty as they try to plan ahead.  

“Students and their families are getting hit with a wrecking ball when it comes to the cost of college. This legislation means that students and their families in Oregon and nationwide will now be able to plan for the cost of college without fear of the government changing the rules on them,” Wyden said.

“I have continued to fight for fair changes to the tax code that help individuals including students and working families alike. Today’s deal reflects those essential priorities for young people wanting an education and for their parents who want to help them.”

Under this agreement a permanent AOTC will provide a tax cut of up to $10,000 for four years to help students and families pay for college.

Wyden introduced the PARTNERSHIPS Act this fall to help lower the cost of tuition for students and their families. He and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., heard directly from students at college roundtables in Oregon this fall about how rising college debt is becoming a major worry for their lives after graduation. In Oregon, the average student graduating with debt owes more than $25,000, and that number continues to rise.

To view a copy of the bill text click here.