Paying for College

There are numerous scholarships, grants, and financial aid opportunities to help offset the costs of college and college support programs. Mansfield Hall encourages families to explore these options.

Affordable Colleges Website

State and Federal Grant Funding Sources

Federal Pell Grant

This grant is based on your family’s income and assets. Annual awards range from $1,176 to $5,550. The student must meet all eligibility requirements. The amount of the grant is divided equally among the semesters attended. To apply, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

This grant is awarded to students entering in the fall, with exceptional financial need. The annual award is $2,000. The student must meet all eligibility requirements. To apply, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov

Vocational Rehabilitation Grants

State governments provide funds through vocational rehabilitation grants for people with disabilities pursuing postsecondary education. The amount of the grant varies by state, and can be received for any semester. Further information can be found by reviewing the publication, entitled Vocational Rehabilitation Services: Consumer Guide for Postsecondary Students [PDF] (Heath Resources, 1996). Please contact your state’s Vocational Rehabilitation Center for additional information and to apply. This state agency will often offset cost of tuition and in some cases living expenses. In Wisconsin, the Department of Vocational Rehab will provide $5000.00 annually for tuition and They decide whether to provide additional financial support for room and board on a case by case basis.

Scholarship Opportunities

General Sources

• Finaid.org

• Scholarships.com

• Autism Speaks

Private Scholarships

• Access to Education Scholarship

• The Sallie Mae Fund “unmet need” Scholarship Program

• Gates Millennium Scholars

• AXA Achievement Scholarhsip Program

• Lotte Kaliski Foundation for Giften Children – REACH

[email protected]

• The Fruit Company Scholarships

• The Sell Used Books College Essay Contest

• RISE Scholarship Foundation

• American Association on Health and Disability Scholarships

• The HotelsCheap Scholarship Program

• National Center for Learning Disabilities

• Ann and Matt Harbison Scholarship

• Buckfire and Buckfire Disability Scholarship Program

• Gabriels Foundation of Hope

• Incight Scholarship

• National Achievement Award

• Shire ADHD Scholarship Program

• Attention Deficit Disorder Association: Novotni Scholarship

Tax Deductions

The American Opportunity Tax Credit

This tax credit for up to four years of undergraduate post- secondary education is currently available through 2017. It allows you to claim a tax credit of 100% of the first $2,000 of qualified educational expenses (including cost of materials such as books, supplies and equipment) and 25% of the second $2,000 of qualified educational expenses, to a maximum credit of $2,500 per student. An eligible taxpayer must file a federal tax return to claim this credit. This tax credit is available to taxpayers with an income of $90,000 ($180,000 if filing jointly). The student must be enrolled at least half time. This credit may be claimed against the alternative minimum tax. If you plan to claim this credit, you may need to ask the College of choice to provide a 1098-T statement for your use in completing IRS Form 8863. For more information see

http://www.irs.gov/uac/American-Opportunity-Tax-Credit

The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit

A family can claim a tax credit of up to $2,000 per tax year for an eligible dependent (or the taxpayer or taxpayer’s spouse) for an unlimited number of years. The credit is 20% of the first $10,000 of qualified educational expenses paid for all eligible students. This tax credit is available to taxpayers with an income of less then $61,000 ($122,000 if filing jointly). The Lifelong Learning Tax Credit is available for all years of postsecondary education, and for courses to acquire or improve job skills.

Medical Expense Deductions (This is a complicated area of tax law. Please consult your accountant for specific information on eligibility).

The IRS code allows medical deductions per section 213: “The term `medical care,’ as used in this subsection, shall include amounts paid for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body.” This is a pretty broad definition of medical care. The nature of the IRS code is that it is refined by both revenue rulings and tax court cases, such that the phrase ‘any structure or function of the body’ includes both mental and physical functions. Accordingly, medical care can include tutoring and special schooling for learning disabilities.

See webpage for helpful information: http://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/tax-strategies-for-parents-of-kids-with-special-needs/