Cuts to higher ed programs avoided with fiscal cliff deal

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Dive Summary:

  • Congress' last-minute vote on a fiscal cliff deal Tuesday night avoided across-the-board spending cuts that would have hit a number of programs, including several affecting higher education.
  • If sequestration had occurred, programs including federal work-study, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and funding for scientific research would have been hit with 8.2% spending cuts.
  • Additionally, the deal extends the American Opportunity Tax Credit for five years and makes several other tax provisions--like the student loan interest deduction and tax preferences for Coverdell savings accounts--permanent. 

From the article:

WASHINGTON - In a last-minute vote Tuesday night, Congress averted the deep, automatic spending cuts set to affect a wide range of federal programs, including many important to higher education. The vote to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts, known together as the "fiscal cliff," gives lawmakers two months to cut $6 billion from the federal budget and sets up a probable spending showdown later in the year. The bill averts tax hikes for all but the wealthiest Americans as the Bush-era tax cuts expire. ...

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