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Tax Preferences for Higher Education and Adult College Enrollment

The federal government delivers substantial college aid through the tax code, after introducing education tax credits in 1998 and a tuition deduction in 2002. The design of the Lifetime Learning tax credit and the tuition deduction may make them particularly useful to older students. This paper investigates how these provisions have affected college attendance of individuals in their 30s and 40s. For most adults, there is no effect on college attendance. Among men whose 1998 educational attainment falls short of earlylife educational expectations, eligibility for an education tax preference is associated with a 2.5 to 3.4 percentage point increase in the probability of college attendance.

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File URL: http://web.williams.edu/Economics/wp/LaLumiaEducationTaxCredits.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2010-09.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in the National Tax Journal
Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2010-09
Contact details of provider: Postal: Williamstown, MA 01267
Phone: 413 597 2476
Fax: 413 597 4045
Web page: http://econ.williams.edu
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  1. Belley, Phillippe & Lochner, Lance, 2009. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-9, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 02 Feb 2009.
  2. Neil S. Seftor & NSarah E. Turner, 2002. "Back to School: Federal Student Aid Policy and Adult College Enrollment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 336-352.
  3. Susan Dynarski, 2005. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," NBER Working Papers 11604, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. John Bound & Michael Lovenheim & Sarah Turner, 2009. "Why Have College Completion Rates Declined? An Analysis of Changing Student Preparation and Collegiate Resources," NBER Working Papers 15566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jepsen, Christopher & Montgomery, Mark, 2009. "Miles to go before I learn: The effect of travel distance on the mature person's choice of a community college," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 64-73, January.
  6. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
  7. Duane E. Leigh & Andrew M. Gill, 1997. "Labor Market Returns to Community Colleges: Evidence for Returning Adults," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(2), pages 334-353.
  8. Audrey Light, 1995. "The Effects of Interrupted Schooling on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 472-502.
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