Senator Urges Students and Families to Claim Credit on Tax Returns

NEWBURGH, N.Y. – Having recently convinced Congress to extend his American Opportunity tuition tax credit program, Congressman Chuck Schumer continued his statewide college campus awareness tour Monday with a stop at SUNY Orange’s Kaplan Hall where he urged students and their families to take advantage of the $2,500 tax credit.

Citing statistics that indicate half of the eligible middle class families in New York State do not claim the credit, Schumer said the credit can be a big boost to families trying to stretch their budget and he is committed to make more students and families aware of the program.

The tax credit provides middle class families with a credit of $1 on their income taxes for every $1 spent on college tuition, up to $2,500 per year. To take advantage of this credit, students or their families must claim it on their income tax form. Families who have not claimed the credit can amend their past three tax returns to include the credit, Schumer said.

“It’s like there is a dump truck full of one-hundred dollar bills sitting across the street, but no one is taking the money,” Schumer said as he addressed a crowd of nearly 70 students and staff in the Hudson View Cafe in Kaplan Hall. “By simply completing some forms, New York families with kids in college can receive a wonderful gift. Sometimes they say knowledge is power. Well, in this case, knowledge is money in the bank.”

SUNY Orange president Dr. William Richards, College trustee Joan Wolfe and Mount Saint Mary president Father Kevin Mackin stood alongside Schumer to show their respective institution’s support for Schumer’s awareness campaign.

As a followup to Schumer’s visit, Richards distributed a letter to all SUNY Orange students on Tuesday explaining the program and encouraging students to investigate it. A copy of the letter was also shared with faculty and staff at the College.

“Across the nation, default rates on student loans are increasing. We do our best to help our students get their best financial aid package, and we work with them to make sure they understand all of the ramifications of their borrowing so that they don’t default,” Richards said afterward. “This tax credit program will allow families to put a bit more of their tuition costs back into their pocket. Every little bit helps.”

For more information, visit or contact the SUNY Orange Bursar’s Office at (845) 341-4830.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940